The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, are proud to present the 55 Mission Patches selected for flight to the International Space Station (ISS) for Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Mission 12 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 12 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 34 selected Mission 12 microgravity flight experiments from student teams, representing the 31 communities participating in Mission 12, comprise the SSEP Mercury experiments payload, named after NASA’s Project Mercury.
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 Project Mercury 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 28 of 31 Mission 12 to ISS communities conducting Mission Patch art and design competitions, 24,831 grade K-16 students were engaged, and 22,320 patch designs were submitted. Judges within the communities selected the 55 patches shown below.
You can also read more about the Mission 12 to ISS Patch Competition at the main SSEP website.
Quickly Scroll to Individual Communities
- Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
- Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
- Winfield, Alabama
- Corcoran, California
- Moreno Valley, California
- Sanger, California
- San Jose, California
- Bridgeport, Connecticut – University of Bridgeport
- Stamford, Connecticut
- Hillsborough County, Florida
- Port St. Lucie, Florida
- Jackson County, Georgia
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- University System of Maryland (USM), Maryland
- Kalamazoo & Detroit – Michigan Archdiocese, Michigan
- Galloway, New Jersey – Stockton University
- Springfield, New Jersey
- Belen, New Mexico
- WNY STEM – Buffalo/Niagara, New York
- Sumter, South Carolina
- Knox County, Tennessee
- Brazosport, Texas
- Burleson, Texas
- Ector County, Texas
- Pharr, Texas
- iForward – Grantsburg, Wisconsin
São Paulo community held two mission patch competitions. The first afforded all students from our three participating schools (Dante Alighieri, Project Ancora and Perimetral School) to propose arts. We received 300 patches designed by 300 students and they were voted on by students from the same three schools. The winning patch was create by Kauan Jonatas Cordeiro Santiago from the 9th grade of Perimetral School.
The second patch competition was opened up to all students from the elementary and middle schools in Brazil. We received 56 patch designs from 7 states in Brazil and more than 10 thousands online votes, choosing Luis Felipe Pimentel, from 7th grade of Gappe School in Campo Grande City, the grand winner. To engage more students, we decided to fly the top 5 arts in a high altitude balloon and take astounding pictures from near-space with the arts in the forefront.
Students at Nanaimo District Secondary School and Elementary Feeder Schools submitted over 900 entries for the Mission Patches competitions in two age categories: 300 patches at grades K-7 and 600 patches at grades 8-12. Our Elementary Mission Patch winner is Zoe Wagner, Grade 7 from Forest Park Elementary, and our Secondary Mission Patch winner is Hailey Fraser, Grade 9 at NDSS.
Selected members of Nanaimo’s Art and Education Community and stakeholder representatives judged the Mission Patch submissions. The 1st Place winner in each category will accompany the winning Student Spaceflight Experiment to the ISS. Judges selected from the Nanaimo Art and Education Community applied a scoring rubric to establish a 1st Place, 2nd Place, and 3rd Place Winners along with the Honorable Mentions who will receive certificates at an SSEP Reception March 13, 2018 to honor our student participants, teachers, Principals, and supporters, artists, scientists, and educators representing the Nanaimo community.
The Winnipeg School Division SSEP Mission Patch Competition was open to over 64 elementary schools at the Nursery to Grade 6 level. Finalist patches from eight schools were selected and one patch was chosen to represent the community alongside the two Mission 12 SSEP projects chosen for flight.
Over 215 students submitted their patches for consideration. Students, teachers and administrators from participating schools voted and chose two finalist patches that showcased the unique talents and creativity of Winnipeg School Division students, making the final decision very difficult. Grade 6 student, Ava LeBlanc, from Grosvenor School created the selected patch design. Congratulations to all the SSEP Mission Patch Design participants!
The Winfield City School System, located in rural Winfield, Alabama, completed the Mission Patch Art and Design Competition on February 1, 2018. Our system sponsored two competitions with one involving students in grades K-4 and the other involving students in grades 5-12. All students were encouraged to participate.
In grades K-4 there were 505 mission patches submitted. In grades 5-12 there were 449 mission patches submitted. Our K-4 winner was 3rd grader, Emma Harrison, with a design demonstrating a love of state, country, and space. Our 5-12 winner was Faith Roberts, an 11th grader, with a design proudly honoring our SSEP team and their study of our native plant kudzu. Patch Plan Coordinator, Candy Garner, was pleased with these winners as this allowed someone from each of our three campus sites to be represented on the Mission 12 flight to the ISS.
John Muir Middle School proposed a two patch competition. All 1,700 students in grades K-5 competed in the Elementary category, each creating an individual design. Brett Harte, John C. Fremont, and Mark Twain had teachers and administrators judge and send the 2 top winners from each grade to be judged. The final 5 patches for Elementary were chosen by John Muir science teachers and administrators. 740 students competed in our 6-8 grade competition, each creating an individual design. 10 science teachers judged and sent the 2 top winners from their classes, totaling 20 to be judged. The final 5 were chosen by John Muir staff and administration. Our school board, State Assemblyman Salas, County Supervisor Valle, Senator Vidak’s Representative and other individuals selected the winning Mission 12 Patches for both competitions. The winner of our Elementary Category was Lumidee Negrete. The winner of our Middle School Category was David Orozco. Both students were recognized at our Live Launch October 13th.
Two school sites, Vista Heights Middle School and Valley View High School, opened up the patch design contest to all of the STEAM teachers. The teachers had their Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math classes view the videos on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) website which got the students “pumped-up” about the ISS, microgravity, and participating in the Patch design contest. The students felt it was important to connect their community of Moreno Valley, which is symbolized by the “M” on the mountain and to include the high school’s soybean experiment.
VVHS had four teachers with 196 student participants, 87 patch designs, and VHMS had two teachers with 156 student participants, 55 patch designs, for a grand total of 352 student participants from the Moreno Valley Unified School District. The overall patch judging was conducted by the art teachers.
Fairmont School invited all 570 K-8 students to submit a patch design. We had 150 individual designs submitted. These individual designs were sent to a panel of judges, which included our district visual arts coordinators, two art instructors from the secondary level, and our site visual arts coordinators.
Sanger High School embedded the mission patch project in the Performing & Fine Arts Department curriculum as a project assignment in the Art I though Art III courses. 514 students submitted individual designs. The art teachers selected nine designs to move forward for final voting by the community. The Sanger High School community including SHS students, classified and certified personnel, and parents were able to vote for their favorite design during the Fall Art Showcase.
Two student-designed mission patches will travel to the International Space Station with the experiment. Sixth-grader Heidi Kimzey from Fairmont Elementary and Yosselin Fernandez from Sanger High School created the artwork for the patches.
Discovery Charter School held two mission patch design competitions. One was opened up to all of the Discovery students in grades K-4. The second was opened up to any student in grade 5-8. 274 students created 39 patch designs for the K-4 competition and 286 students created 31patch designs for the 5-8 competition. Students, staff and community members voted on 50 amazing designs. It was a close race, but in the end, a group of four students who worked together was chosen in the K-4 category and one student who worked alone from the 5-8 grade category.
Discovery is proud to be participating in SSEP Mission 12 to the ISS and would like to congratulate Vincent Collins, Caelyn Dyer, Cristina Etcheverry, and Mikayla Gulesserian for their winning K-4 entry and Ella Simka for her 5-8 grade entry.
The University of Bridgeport held two mission patch design competitions: one for high school students and one for Grades 4-8. There were 165 Grade 9-12 artwork participants and submissions from the Bridgeport Military Academy; 258 Grade K-3 and 272 Grade 4-8 student participants and artwork submissions from Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School; and 162 Grade K-3 and 196 Grade 4-8 student participant and artwork submissions from Geraldine Clayton Magnet Academy. Individual schools narrowed submissions to their top 25 finalists. The 125 finalist patches were displayed in the University of Bridgeport’s School of Education where university faculty made the difficult final selections. One winning patch was selected from each competition and an honorable mention awarded to a Grade K-3 artist. Winners were announced as part of the university’s “Engineers Day” event on February 19th. University faculty, staff, their families, as well as all the participating K-12 schools were invited to attend.
Our mission patch competition exceeded our projected numbers. We had 800 learners, across 18 sites in grades K-12, create and submit a patch. At Stamford High School, we had 285 participating and submitting patches and we had 515 participating and submitting patches for the K-8 competition. Stamford High Art Department Chair Paul Cusano and Module Downer, a Stamford High Art teacher and District Content Leader for Visual Arts directed the competition. A team of teachers selected 16 finalists for the K-8 competition and 14 finalists for the 9-12 competition. Certificates of participation were provided for all learners; with finalists receiving special recognition and certificates at our SSEP assembly. Alexander Barker (5th grade) and Krantz Medeus (12th grade), our top mission patch designers, were announced and honored at a Board of Education meeting. Families, facilitators, newspapers, teachers and administration attended the assembly, congratulating and encouraging our young people. Our patches have been turned into cloth patches and are being used as a fundraiser for the SSEP Conference.
Hillsborough County Public Schools opened the Mission 12 Patch Competition to 7,000 elementary school students in our community, which represented 10 schools. We divided the competition – one for Kindergarten through Fifth Grade students, with 451 patches submitted and another for Sixth through Eighth Grade students, with 125 patches submitted. 576 students drew a design and 450 patches met the requirements for judging by a committee of teachers and community leaders. The Kindergarten through Fifth Grade Mission Patch winner is Janelie Rosario, a First Grade student from Lowry Elementary in Tampa, Florida. The winning patch from the Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade competition was Braden Moon, a 6th grade student from Randall Middle School in LIthia, Florida.
The Renaissance Charter School Mission Patch competitions were very competitive! We had 450 students create patch designs in the Kindergarten through 5th Grade competition and 127 students create patch designs for the 6th though 8th Grade competition. All entries were ranked based on a rubric and needed to integrate Mission 12 to the International Space Station along with the school name and a representation of what differentiates our school from others. Finalists were then selected based on the rubric and were voted on by staff, teachers, and community members. Our finalists received special recognition and a certificate, and will be recognized at our SSEP assembly. Our top 2 designers were Briley Orton (5th Grade) and Caleb Pierce (6th grade). Their winning designs will be turned into cloth patches, framed, and hung in our front entryway to commemorate this mission, our first of many to come!
Jackson County Schools in Jefferson, Georgia enjoyed participating in the Mission 12 Mission Patch Competitions. Five elementary, two middle schools and two high schools participated. The competition involved school-level competitions and a district-level competiton. Approximately 3,940 students participated at the school-level competitions (3,009 elementary and 940 middle and high school students each submitted a patch design). Art teachers at each school administered the contest and selected judges to choose the patches that advanced to the district level. A total of 42 patches were received from the elementary schools and 21 patches from the middle and high schools for final judging. At the district level, the elementary patches were judged separately from the secondary school patches. The winning design from the elementary competion was Andi Armstrong, 5th grade student from Gum Springs Elementary School. The winning design for the middle and high school competition was Emmeline Walker, 9th grade student from Jackson County Comprehensive High School.
Punahou School in Honolulu, HI engaged students that are currently enrolled in ninth grade through twelfth grade. Nearly seventeen hundred students in the Academy were invited to participate in the mission patch competition. The art committee received 102 student entries. The art teachers selected the finalist which best reflected the Aloha spirit of Hawaii and Punahou. The selected art work was designed by 11th grader Abby Oshiro.
A two-patch approach allowed our intermediate grades (5th, 80 students) and lower elementary grade students (1st-4th grade, 320 students), to participate in part of the SSEP process. Because our school already has a pairing of older and younger children through a program called, Buddies, our skeletal structure was in place. The middle school students, whom were actively involved in creating experiments for the competition, explained their work to the buddies and described what mission patches were (240 middle school students, grades 6-8). They outlined the parameters for the competition and the two groups of younger Buddies got to work. Our Student Leadership and Student Council teams, made up of eighth graders, selected two patches from 300 total submissions (200 from grades 1-5 and 100 from grades 6-8) to fly aboard the International Space Station. Congratulations to Anna Moore (5th) and Lauren Robertson & Audrey Voekel (4th) (team).
The University System of Maryland SSEP Mission 12 to ISS Patch Design Competition engaged 52 undergraduates (grades 13-16) from Frostburg State University and Towson University. Each undergraduate worked to submit one patch for the competition, leading to 52 patch submissions. A committee composed of 5 members (three artists, two scientists) selected the finalist. Donovan Carter (Frostburg) describes his design: “The main focal point of the patch contains a badge with a rocket in the center. Around it are two astronauts along with the ISS up top. In this patch, I took many elements from the Maryland flag and implemented them in the patch. The entire patch sports only the colors seen in the Maryland flag. For the shape of the badge itself, I implemented the design found in the red and white Crossland part of the flag. For the satellite, I incorporated the Calbert checker pattern from the Maryland flag.”
The St. Fabian Catholic School students were excited at the approval of SSEP Mission Patch Plan. The opportunity to participate in the SSEP Mission 12: Mission Patch Design Competition is a great challenge. The elementary students (preK-3) submitted 107 entries and the middle school students (grade 4-8) resulted in 119 entries, with a total of 226 submissions.
Using the elements of art and principles of design, the students brainstormed and created images that would represent the spirit of our school in relation to the important work of the student scientists’ microgravity experiment and the concept of many people working together to create a successful mission. Art teachers served as a committee to screen the submitted patches. One winning patch has been chosen from each group competition.
St. Monica Catholic School of the Diocese of Kalamazoo proposed a two-patch design plan for our elementary and middle school students that encompassed 157 students enrolled in our third through eighth grade classrooms.
Our two-patch design plan required two student-leveled groupings. The first involved 44 students in our third and fourth grades. The second consisted of 113 students in fifth through eighth grades. Students within each group competed for one winning entry to accompany our community’s winning experiment to the International Space Station. The number of mission patches designed and submitted for the contest totaled 45. The winning patches will be unveiled at a St. Monica family Student Spaceflight Experiments Program event this spring!
The Stockton SSEP Community Mission Patch competition received six hundred and fourteen (614) total patch designs. Five hundred and thirty-five (535) patch designs were in the K-8 division from fourteen elementary and middle schools. Seventy-nine entrants were in the High School and University upper division from four high schools and Stockton University. Participating K-12 schools were: Alder Ave Middle, Atlantic County Institute of Technology, Avalon Elementary, Brigantine North Middle, Cedar Creek High, Dawes Avenue Elementary, Eagleswood Township Elementary, Eugene A. Tighe Middle, Manalapan High, Nellie F. Bennett Elementary, Northfield Community, Pineland Regional Junior High, Point Pleasant Beach High, Port Republic, Roland Rogers Elementary, Southern Regional Middle, Toms River Intermediate North, and William Davies Middle. The winning patch design in the upper division was Robert Lind, grade 9 from the Atlantic County Institute of Technology high school and in the lower division was Kirra Fenton, grade 4 from Northfield Community.
The Springfield Public Schools held two patch design competitions: one for K-5 students, and a second for grades 6-12. A total of 1,032 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, 217 students participated through our middle school art classes, or through the high school’s Studio Art class, Graphic Design class, and Art Club and submitted an original design. Sari Racusin, a 4th grader at Thelma L. Sandmeier Elementary School, created the patch chosen from K-5. Faith Lobo, an 8th grader at Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School, created the 6-12 selected patch design. The two finalists and all semi-finalist patches will be displayed at our district science exposition.
Belen Consolidated Schools conducted two mission patch competitions, one for grades K-6 and the other for grades 7-12. The elementary competition received 664 designs and the secondary competition received 110 secondary designs (a total of 774 students participated). Two winning patches were chosen, one from the elementary submissions and one from the secondary submissions.
From Kindergarten to grade 12, students from Western New York put pencil, crayon, marker, and computer-generated drawing programs to good work to create 225 designs, 110 from the grades K-4 competition and 125 from the grades 5-12 competition, for Mission 12 to the ISS Mission Patch Design competition.
Sara Qureshi, the art teacher for Global Concepts Charter School said, “Our STEAM students aren’t necessarily artistically-inclined: they’re honor roll students who partake in the course to learn how to be independent, creative problem solvers, utilizing materials to solve an assigned task/challenge.”
Designs from a seventh grade student from the King Urban Life Center in Buffalo and a 12th grader (the class valedictorian) from Global Concepts Charter School were selected for Mission 12. Judge David Butler (designer by trade and son of a rocket scientist), “I was amazed at the creativity and talent of these young people. Opportunities like this inspire our next generation of scientists and artists.”
Alice Drive Middle School held two Mission Patch Design competitions, one for Alice Drive Middle School students, and one for K-5 students from ADM’s three feeder schools; Alice Drive Elementary, Millwood Elementary, and Willow Drive Elementary. Alice Drive Middle had 580 students create a patch design. The elementary competition had 300 students create a patch.
Each school had their own committees that narrowed down the competition to the top three designs. The Sumter School District Fine Arts Advisory Council chose the winning design for both competitions. The Middle School winner was Ryu Kim, an 8th grader at Alice Drive. The Elementary winner was Isabel Battles, a 5th grader from Willow Drive. This competition was a great opportunity to make connections between STEM fields and Art /Design. It was a true STEAM experience!
For the Mission 12 patch competition, Knox County Schools in Knoxville, Tennessee, had submissions from both grades K-5 and 6-12. The total number of K-5 students who participated in the competition was 257 resulting in 49 patch designs being submitted. Those students are from Beaumont Magnet Academy, Shannondale Elementary, Bonny Kate Elementary, and Bluegrass Elementary. The total number of 6-12 students who participated in the competition is 1,219 resulting in 73 patch designs being submitted. Those students are from Bearden Middle, L&N STEM Academy, Holston Middle, Gresham Middle, and Carter Middle. Knox County Schools received 135 finalist patches to be judged.
The winners from Knox County include Luke Akard, grade 4, from Blue Grass Elementary School, and Hayden Perry, grade 8, from Holston Middle School.
Brazosport Independent School District conducted two Mission Patch design competitions for grades K-4 and 5-12. Upon completion, we received 352 submissions from grades K-4 and 215 submissions from grades 5-12 totaling 567 students. We enlisted the support of our local Center for the Arts of Sciences for the selection of our patch winner for each division. The winning K-4 design was drawn by Adysen Payne, 1st grader from Bess Brannen Elementary. The winning design for 5-12 was drawn by Lexsea Staley, 6th grader from Rasco Middle School.
We are excited to report that 2,340 students from Burleson ISD participated in the M12 Patch Competition. There were 940 K-5 and 1,400 6-8 grade students supporting our SSEP Experiment Teams with their individual patch designs. Their patches were displayed during our district “Space Night,” attended by over 3,000 people. Students pointed out their patches to friends, relatives, teachers, administrators, and school board members. The winning K-5 grade patch was designed by Gianna Guzman, a 4th grader from the Academy at Nola Dunn. Gianna’s patch captures the heart of exploration by showing a rocket with the phrase, “BISD…Reach Beyond the Stars.’ The winning 6-8 grade patch was designed by Bethany Beardsley, a Hughes Middle School student. Judges appreciated how Bethany honored M12 and BISD by placing them at the top of the patch, but also showed the expanse of space with a colorful look into the beyond. We congratulate the winners, and appreciate the hard work of all participants!
Ector County Independent School District had 801 students, 401 K-5 students and 400 6-12 students, from seven campuses participate in the Mission Patch Design Competition. There were 401 patch designs submitted for the K-5 competition and 388 patch designs submitted for the 6-12 competition. Up to two finalists were selected from each campus and a contest was open to the district to vote for their favorite mission patch design. A total of 808 votes were casted during the one-week window. One winner was selected for secondary and one winner for elementary. The secondary winner is Clara Long, 8th grader at Bonham Middle School and the elementary winner is Paisley Valenzuela, 1st grader at Gonzales Elementary.
To further enhance its commitment to STEM education, the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District was honored to be a part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Mission 12 to the International Space Station. As a participating community, the district conducted two district-wide Mission Patch Art & Design Competitions. Total counts for student participants included: 839 elementary students in grades (PK – 5) and 630 secondary students in grades (6 – 12) for a grand total of 1,469 patch designs. Participating campuses held their own local contests and submitted their top patches to the district-wide contest for final judging. A total of 50 top patches (34 from the elementary and 16 from the secondary) were submitted. The winning elementary patch was designed by Barbara Cantu, 4th grade student from Drs. Reed & Mock Elementary School. The winning secondary patch was designed by Andres Garza, 8th grade student from Audie Murphy Middle School.
iForward Wisconsin Online Charter School’s learning community is grateful for the opportunity to have taken part in the 2018 SSEP Mission Patch Design Project. Our virtual online charter school is made up of approximately 600 students, grades 6-12, from across the state of Wisconsin. An exceptional group of students at the middle school and high school levels formed an SSEP Patch Design Club in order to ignite enthusiasm amongst all of our students and promoted participation across all virtual content areas.
Our students met the goal for the two patch competition with 129 high school, and 100 middle school students, designing patches for the competition. The winning students proved to meet our learning goals through understanding the history, science and design principles behind mission patches. Each of our participants completed an original design based on the uniqueness of our learning community and the life changing collaboration with SSEP.