Support Our SSEP

This page was created as a place where you can tell visitors to this site how they can help support SSEP in YOUR community. There are lots of ways that folks can help, which can include in-kind support, e.g., donation of supplies; advisory support; and yes, monetary support for underwriting currently un-funded activities, e.g., travel to Kennedy and travel to the National SSEP Conference. This page can be a place where you describe all the pathways for support.

On a related note, NCESSE has the ability to send in a single staffer, or a National Team to do community-wide STEM engagement programming for students; PD for teachers, and family/public programs, with underwriting that might be sought though this Support Our SSEP page. Recall that the programming was part of the vision for SSEP, and was originally built into SSEP Program Option 1 for community-wide engagement, but Program Option 1 was not chosen by any of the communities. Programming, if desired, can be added at any time. If you’ve got a wave of community-wide excitement, this is one way to grow it into a very large wave. If interested, see the NCESSE Journey through the Universe page and the To Earth and Beyond page, and the associated “Testimonials” page. If a philanthropic organization or individual underwrites such programming, the full cost of the programming is Tax Deductible – which is a big deal. See the Section “Programming for Your Community Underwritten by a Donor” on the NCESSE How You Can Help Page.

To get some ideas for how to write this page (if you think it is needed at all), you might look at the NCESSE How You Can Help page, and the SSEP National How You Can Help page.

Finally, we passed on two relevant suggestions/opportunities, via two prior SSEP Leadership emails. The first provides a possible pathway to generate funds which could be advertised on this page, and the second provides a description of a limited community-engagement program that could easily be underwritten by a local donor, with a full Tax Deduction.

Here are the two reprinted Leadership Emails:

Email 1. A Possible Revenue-Generating Approach for Your SSEP – Crystal Keepsakes (sent 12/1/10)
Hello everyone-

SSEP Phase 2 is going to possibly require you to raise added funds for: travel to Kennedy Space Center for delivery of samples for integration, and acceptance of harvested samples, and for participation in a national conference if you wish (for at least travel and possibly registration if we cannot find an underwriter). NCESSE also needs to augment our revenue to support planning for the next SSEP flight opportunity coming soon. So I’ve been noodling around some ideas for revenue generation that can assist your communities and NCESSE.

A bit over a year ago, in support of all our programs we opened an online store, Store Galactica at to provide a product sales stream where all revenue goes into directly supporting our programs, including SSEP.

You probably don’t know this but I led a team to permanently install a scale model of the solar system – called Voyage – on the National Mall in Washington DC. It went through the same approval process as the WWII Memorial, given it was to be placed on what is considered U.S. National sacred ground. FYI – it has now also been permanently installed in Corpus Christi, at NASA Johnson Space Center, and in Kansas City;


For the National Mall, The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts required it to be sculpture, and worthy of placement on the Mall. To this end the worlds of the solar system are laser-sculpted in 3-D in solid crystal block at high resolution. So given the cache of the Voyage National Program, we created a crystal product line of high quality crystal displays and crystal and brass illuminated keychains, which NCESSE sells at Store Galactica.

Ok, now for the relevance. To commemorate the end of the Shuttle Era, we recently commissioned two new 3-D high resolution crystals, one a large crystal block with the Shuttle in ascent, and a stunning crystal keychain with the Shuttle over Earth and the cargo bay doors open.

NCESSE will be selling the keychains at Store galactica for $19.95 + S/H, and most of that is pure revenue for programming. My thought – If you think it useful we can make the keychains available to the SSEP communities in bulk for $11 each, which still gives us about $5 in revenue per keychain, helping NCESSE. If you then sell it for $25 as a community souvenir for your SSEP program, that means you’d clear $14 each. If you sell 100, that’s $1,400 you can put towards travel expenses to Kennedy, and you’ve given all the purchasers a great keepsake to remember the program. Or you can explain this as a fund raising drive, and you might sell them for more than $25, with purchasers knowing they are helping get the students to Kennedy, and by the way they get this cool keychain.

I have no idea if this makes sense relative to your needs. But it was worth some calories passing it along.

Some points:

You also have the ability to put a laser-etched line of text on the crystal, like “SSEP in Lincolnwood, IL, 2010-11”, but the fabricator charges $100 for a one time set up.

Also, you might think about these crystals as very cool awards.

If you are interested in exploring this, I can send you a keychain and you can run it by folks over there. Send me your mailing address if you want one.

Some info on the products:

How they are created:

Voyage National Program Crystal – Worlds to Explore Series:

Email 2. Program Opportunity: Voyage, A Celebration of Solar System Exploration (sent 10/9/10)

Hi all-

NCESSE is working on a number of new programs. One of them, “Voyage, A Celebration of Solar System Exploration” is in support of NASA’s Year of the Solar System.

The Voyage Celebration would be an opportunity for a community to hold a 2-day event. NCESSE would fly in one of our 3 lead presenters that routinely deliver our Family Science Night program at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum to 450 parents students and teachers. The presenters are Drs. Timothy Livengood, Harri Vanhala, and Jeff Goldstein – all astrophysicists and national science educators. See:

The NCESSE presenter would fly in, and:

1) deliver an evening family/public program for 100 to 1,000 attendees, and where you can augment the presentation with family science activities, and your area amateur astronomers providing viewing of the night sky; and

2) deliver a 6-8 hour professional development workshop for any number of grade K-12 teachers you’d like as long as your community prints the lesson package downloadable from our website.  The lessons were developed directly from the national science education standards on solar system science and exploration, and were created in conjunction with the Voyage scale model solar system permanently placed on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and that we’ve now also permanently installed at NASA Johnson Space Center, in Corpus Christi Texas, and Kansas City MO.   The workshop can be customized to specific grade levels. Attendance from 20-150 is fine for this inquiry-based hands-on workshop.

At the end of the workshop the presenter will fly back to DC.  An alternative to 2 above would be a day of 5 auditorium presentations in schools across your district. One approach – find a single large high school auditorium and bus students from across the district.

You could easily integrate this 2-day celebration with SSEP as a low cost, community-engagement program. I wanted to let you know this because many of you wanted the National Team program component for SSEP (Option 1) but we were all just able to get funding for option 3. We will soon be announcing nationally the Voyage, A Celebration of Solar System Exploration”, and wanted to give you all a heads-up. Programming will start late winter early spring 2011, and I suspect the schedule will fill pretty fast.

We are still figuring out how much this would cost, but my sense right now is $5,000 plus travel expenses. The cost is totally independent of the size of the audience for the family/public program or PD workshop. We all might be able to assist in finding funding. You might also leverage excitement around SSEP to get some funders.

Some links of interest, if you are interested in the Voyage 2-Day celebration

The relevant content: the Voyage grade K-12 lessons; and the presentations for the family/public programs

Our Family Program at the Smithsonian

Family/Public program objectives

Family/Public program assessment

Professional Development Menu and Objectives

Professional Development assessment
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