The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, are proud to present the 32 Mission Patches selected for flight to the International Space Station (ISS) for Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Mission 11 to ISS. The selected flight patches shown below resulted from local art and design competitions meant to capture the spirit of SSEP in each Mission 11 community.
The mission patch competitions foster community-wide awareness and engagement in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program – an initiative that takes students, teachers, and the community at large to the space frontier through immersion in an authentic research experience. The 21 selected Mission 11 microgravity flight experiments from student teams, representing the 21 communities participating in Mission 11, comprise the SSEP America experiments payload, named after the Apollo 17 Command Module.
As a historical note, mission patches have been part of human spaceflight since the days of Project Mercury in the 1960s (see, e.g., this page at the NASA History Program Office). The official NASA mission patch for Apollo 17 is shown above. The SSEP Mission Patch competitions therefore allow communities to engage in another authentic aspect of the space program. From an education standpoint, the mission patch component of SSEP forges interdisciplinary connections between STEM fields and art and design, so that SSEP is a true STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) initiative.
Across the 18 of 21 Mission 11 to ISS communities conducting Mission Patch art and design competitions, 12,407 grade K-12 students were engaged, and 11,428 patch designs were submitted. Judges within the communities selected the 32 patches shown below.
You can also read more about the Mission 11 to ISS Patch Competition at the main SSEP website.
Quickly Scroll to Individual Communities
- Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
- Stonewall, Manitoba, Canada
- iLead Consortium, California
- Santa Monica, California
- Vista, California
- Bridgeport, Connecticut – Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Campus
- Hillsborough County, Florida
- University System of Maryland (USM), Maryland
- Fitchburg, Massachusetts
- Galloway, New Jersey – Stockton University
- Springfield, New Jersey
- Waterford, New Jersey
- Rochester, New York
- Concord, North Carolina
- Knox County, Tennessee
- Burleson, Texas
- Pharr, Texas
- San Antonio, Texas
School District 43, Coquitlam (Canada) hosted two Mission Patch Competitions. The first involved 273 Grades 6-8 students at Moody Middle School of the Arts to design a patch that aligned with their year-long theme of “Canada”. The winner of this competition is Eighth Grader Emily Reilhan. The second competition encouraged students, Kindergarten to Grade 12, to submit a graphic design that represented the SSEP experience. While only 68 submissions (twenty-six from Grade K-5 and 42 submissions from Grade 6-8 students) were received by the deadline, the quality of this work was excellent. The winner of the district-wide competition was Grade 8 student Kathleen Diaz Ng from Maillard Middle school.
For our mission patch competition, we involved the entire school in the competition. In Grades 5 – 6 they did the patch development, some were individually and some in teams of 2, along with a write up about their patch ( 200 kids) and then the entire school Grade 5 – 8 were involved in the voting process including teachers, administrators, custodians and support staff.( which came to 400 kids and staff). We received 176 patches in total and we narrowed it down by class vote for the top1 per class : 12 total finalists , then a school wide vote took place and chose 1 patch, Wallace G. from Grade 6 French immersion section. We did a school assembly to announce the experiment winner and mission patch winner for SSEP. All participants got a certificate and the winners received framed certificates with their name on it.
Our mission patch competition exceeded our projected numbers. We had 1080 learners, across 7 sites grades K-12, create and submit a patch. For grades K-4 we had 693 participating and submitting patches; for grades 5-12 we had 387 participating and submitting patches. Each site selected and submitted their top two designers for the final competition. Certificates of participation were provided for all learners; with finalists receiving special recognition and certificates at our SSEP assembly. Delilah Perez (1st grade) and Nikias Tziviskos-Lainfiesta (9th grade), our top two mission patch designers, were announced at the assembly. Families, facilitators, administration and dignitaries (such as CA Secretary of State, Alex Padilla) attended the assembly, congratulating and encouraging our young people. Our patches have been turned in to cloth patches and are being used as a fundraiser for the SSEP Conference.
Lincoln Middle School’s SSEP patch competition included 360+ entries from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Over 330 eighth graders submitted an official entry with 10 classes honoring the “Top Three” winners and the “Top Six” honored school-wide. The middle school winning artist for SSEP Mission 11 Patch is Christopher Kang. We also proudly invited all 10 elementary schools to participate in our community patch competition. Nine seventh and eighth graders personally extended the invitation by visiting kindergarten through fourth grade classrooms from our feeder schools. They exposed students to what scientists do and study; the International Space Station; the basic concept of microgravity; Lincoln’s SSEP, STEM program; and Lincoln’s winning experiment proposal chosen for flight. Thirty-two students submitted patch designs for the elementary school competition with Roosevelt Elementary School fourth grade student Lucas Molacek’s patch being selected. We are very proud of our 360+ participants!
The Mission 11 SSEP art patch competition included students from North County San Diego Schools and the competition was highlighted at the City of Vista/Vista Unified School District Annual Festival of the Arts in October 2016. Students from elementary, middle and high schools were invited to compete, with the majority of entries, including the winning patch, from Vista Magnet Middle School. Approximately 110 students participated, with 4 finalists competing for the final place on Mission 11. We congratulate the winner, Savitaj Kaur.
The Bridgeport Community (Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Campus, University of Bridgeport and Discovery Museum and Planetarium) held two mission patch design competitions: one for high school students and one for grades 4-8. There were 130 submissions from the 200 students that participated from Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Magnet High School; 294 Grade K-3 and 262 grade 4-8 students participated and submitted artwork from Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School; and 410 Grade K-8 students (160 K-3 and 250 4-8) participated and submitted artwork from the Discovery Interdistrict Magnet School. Individual school art teachers narrowed submissions to their top 25 finalists. The 75 finalist patches were displayed in the University of Bridgeport’s School of Education where university faculty and staff from the Museum made the difficult final selections. One winning patch was selected from each competition and honorable mentions awarded to Grade K-3 artists. Winners were announced on “Engineer’s Day” at the Museum in February.
Hillsborough County Public Schools opened the Mission 11 Patch Competition to 9,000 elementary school students in our community, which represented 142 schools. We divided the competition for Kindergarten through Second Grade students and another for Third through Fifth Grade students. Over 1,300 K-2 and 1,200 3-5 grade students drew a designs and 642 patches met the requirements for judging by a committee of teachers and community leaders. The Kindergarten through Second Grade Mission Patch winner is a Kindergarten student, Chan-Young Park from Chiles Elementary in Tampa, Florida. The winning patch from the Third Grade through Fifth Grade competition was Connor Scott, a 4th grade student from Walden Lake Elementary in Plant City, Florida.
The University System of Maryland SSEP Mission 11 to ISS Patch Design Competition engaged 58 undergraduates from Frostburg University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, University of Maryland College Park. Each undergraduate worked independently to submit one patch for the competition, leading to 58 patch submissions. A committee composed of 2 members (one scientist and one artist) selected the finalist patch, whose central symbol is the terrapin shell representing the Maryland state reptile and the mascot of UMD College Park. Finalist Sara Cha describes her design: “The shell seemingly breaking apart and the individual pieces drifting away represents the apparent weightlessness experienced in microgravity. The text orbiting the design represents how microgravity occurs in orbit when a sense of weightlessness is caused by constantly falling around a larger object. The color theme, of course, represents the Maryland state and school colors.”
The Mission Patch Art & Design Competition was split into two competitions. The first competition, afforded 1,400 students in grades 9 – 12 the opportunity to participate. 124 patches were received and voted on by students, teachers, administrators and staff. The winning patch was created by Felipe Rodriguez from Monty Tech, grade 10. The second patch competition was opened up to over 40 elementary/ middle schools in our surrounding communities. We received 235 patch designs from students in seven different schools ranging from grades 3-8. The second winning patch was designed by Alessandra Pavel from Varnum Brook School, Grade 4. Monty Tech has developed a strong SSEP program and enjoys the opportunity to engage students in science and artistic creativity.
The Stockton SSEP Community Mission Patch competition was held at the University level and at the K-12 level and included 210 students. One Hundred and three patch designs from Stockton students (grades 13-16) in both the arts and sciences were received. One hundred and seven patch designs were received from three elementary( grades 2-5), two middle (grades 6-8) and one high school (grades 9-12) in four school districts including Atlantic City, Galloway Township, Mays Landing and Toms River, NJ. Participating K-12 schools were the William Davies Middle School, Chelsea Heights School, Absegami High School, J.A. Citta Elementary School, Tom Rivers Intermediate School and West Dover Elementary School. The winning patch design from Stockton was Nick Coppola and the winning design from Toms River Intermediate (grade 7) was Achilles Emnace.
The Springfield Public Schools held two patch design competitions: one for K-5 students, and a second for grades 6-12. A total of 1,019 students in grades K-5 participated in patch design in their art classes and submitted an original design. As part of the grades 6-12 selection process, 208 students participated through our middle school art classes, or through the high school’s Studio Art class, Graphic Design class, and Art Club. Grace Pereira, a 5th grader at James Caldwell Elementary School, created the patch chosen from K-5. Destiny Martins, a 12th grader in a Studio Art class at Jonathan Dayton High School, created the 6-12 selected patch design. The two finalists and all semi-finalist patches will be displayed at our district science exposition.
Waterford Township School District students in grades K-3 (Atco/TR) and 4-6 (WES) competed in two Mission Patch Art Design Competitions. Through the direction and support of the art teachers the contest was a huge success, with over 400 mission patches received. The K-3 competition had 100 entries and the 4-6 had 325 entries engaging over 800 students. The K-3 competition had 450 participants and the 4-6 competition had 360 participants. WTSD faculty voted on the winning design. The winners were Riley Clark, 6th grade from Waterford Elementary and Joshua Johnson, 2nd grade from Thomas Richards Elementary.
Riley commented, ” Astronauts miss home while in space, so I wanted a reflection of Earth in the helmet for them to look and think about their families.”
Joshua commented, ” I chose to draw a rocket because I thought that would be the fastest way to get our experiment into space.”
East High School invited all students to participate in the Mission 11 Mission Patch Art and Design Competition through Family Groups. Separate competitions were held for Upper School (grades 9-12) and Lower School (grades 6-8). From the 800 students in Upper School, 70 collaboratively designed patches were submitted representing 25 Family Groups, an engagement of 250 students; from the 350 Lower School students, 20 patches were submitted from 17 Family Groups, an engagement of 170 students. After narrowing selections to 10 finalists for Upper School, and 7 finalists for Lower School, student votes determined the winners. Upper School students cast 280 votes, and Lower School cast 272 votes. Family Groups submitting the winning patches will receive limited edition t-shirts featuring their designs. Mr. Heale/ Miss Shaw’s Family Group submitted the Upper School winning design, while Miss Kramer’s Family Group submitted the winning Lower School design.
In the fall of 2016, upon announcing our participation in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, we began our mission patch competition. All 470 of our 6th-8th graders participated in planning and creating a patch. The completed patches from everyone were then collected. In the end about 300 patches were submitted, as some students did not meet the deadline or requirements. Those 300 patches were then sorted through by the SSEP Coordinator to find 50 patches that best represented our school. The 18 teachers involved in the competition then voted on those patches in order to narrow down the finalists to the top 5. We then created a Google survey with the top 5 images and all 470 students had the chance to vote for their favorite to go up into the International Space Station. The competition went well and we are excited about our community winner’s design by Tasha Paul.
Knox County Schools (KCS) held two mission patch design contests, one for students in grades kindergarten through 4th grade (k-4) and a second competition for students in grades 5 through 12 (5-12). Both competitions were facilitated by the KCS STEM Department, part of the KCS Office of Innovation and School Improvement (OOI), in collaboration with the KCS Gifted and Talented Department, also part of the OOI, and the KCS Art Department. 240 student entries were received in the k-4 contest. 264 student entries were received in the 5-12 contest. Both contests ran from February 1, 2017 through March 3, 2017. A rubric was used to identify the top 5 patches in each contest. From there, a panel of judges selected the winning patches.
A total of 840 students from Burleson ISD participated in the SSEP Mission 11 Patch Competition. There were 512 K-4 students and 328 5-6 grade students supporting our SSEP Experiment Design teams with their individual patch designs. Their patches were displayed during our district “Space Night,” with an attendance of over 3,000 people. Students sought out their patch designs and pointed them out to friends, relatives, teachers, administrators, and school board members. The winning K-4th grade patch was designed by Aryn Taylor, a 4th grader from Clinkscale Elementary. The winning 5th – 6th grade patch was designed by Cooper Womack, and 6th grade student at STEAM Middle School. Congratulations to all student participants!
Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD conducted two Mission Patch design competitions. Competitions were conducted for grades K-5 and grades 6-12. In the elementary competition, 872 students each submitted a patch design. In the secondary competition, 356 students each submitted a patch design. Fifty-five patches were forwarded from the campus levels for final judging. The winning elementary patch was designed by Mariano Andrade, a fifth grader from Zeferino Farias Elementary and the winning secondary patch was designed by Maria Garcia, a ninth grader from PSJA Southwest Early College High School.
Southside ISD conducted two district-wide Mission Patch competitions to complement our winning Student Spaceflight Experiments Program finalist. Each campus was invited to hold its own contest and competitions were open to all students. Two mission patch contests were designed consisting of elementary (K-5) and secondary (6-12) grades. A panel of local judges consisting of educators and administrators assisted with selection of the top 2 campus winners. 400 students submitted patch designs in the K – 5 competition and 576 submissions came from grades 6-12. A total of 976 Southside ISD students participated. The winning patch design for the Elementary school competition was submitted by Danielle Garcia (4th grade). The overall patch design winner for the 6 -12 competition is Nohely Castillo (12th grade).