SSEP Strategic Relevance to Our STEM Ed Program

The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program will provide our students with an unprecedented, authentic challenge to design a real experiment to fly in space. Our STEM guiding principles include Rigor, Relevance, Understanding and Application – all of which are exemplified by the SSEP project.

Students across the YKLI community will be provided the opportunity to participate in SSEP. This corresponds to about 375 students. 

 Our participation in SSEP enhances our STEM commitment in the following ways:

• Truly HISTORIC opportunity to get students across our district excited about science through an experiment slot reserved for us aboard the final scheduled flight of the Space Shuttle.

• An experiment design competition allowing students the ability to propose a REAL experiment, using a mini-laboratory where half the 90 experiment slots are dedicated for researchers’ use, and half to student experiments.

• Community-wide immersion: the SSEP provided resources (e.g., blog, Tweet-ups, voices of mission control) allowing us to place the SSEP design competition within the context of a community-wide engagement model, where we can leverage participation by students, their teachers, their families, and the public.

• SSEP is a wonderful, comprehensive program in science and technology education that demonstrates real science is fun, done by ordinary people reflecting cultural, gender, and socio-economic diversity, and is reflective of a personal and emotional journey of exploration and learning. This is nothing short of a celebration of learning for our entire community.

• Expose and immerse both teachers and students in real science: including framing of a science investigation, experiment design, writing a proposal, a formal review process, a formal flight safety review, participating in a science conference, and communicating design approaches and results at the conference.

• Implement a systemic STEM program across the community, and one that is high profile, garnering significant public and local media attention, thereby showcasing STEM.

• Have our students interact with real scientists through the weekly Tweet-ups

• Use SSEP to enhance our community coalition of stakeholders in STEM education as a stepping stone to other systemic, high profile programs in STEM.

The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program perfectly exemplifies student generated experimentation, communicating and presenting a scientific proposal, and collaboration with our community business and industry mentors.


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