The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, are proud to present the 67 Mission Patches selected for flight to the International Space Station (ISS) for Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Mission 13 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 13 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 41 selected Mission 13 microgravity flight experiments from student teams, representing the 38 communities participating in Mission 13, comprise the SSEP Gemini experiments payload, named after NASA’s Project Gemini.
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 Gemini 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 33 of 38 Mission 13 to ISS communities conducting Mission Patch art and design competitions, 34,145 grade K-16 students were engaged, and 21,200 patch designs were submitted. Judges within the communities selected the 67 patches shown below.
You can also read more about the Mission 13 to ISS Patch Competition at the main SSEP website.
Quickly Scroll to Individual Communities:
- Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- Qualicum, British Columbia, Canada
- Winfield, Alabama
- Corcoran, California
- La Verne, California
- Moreno Valley, California
- Riverside, California
- Ashford/Willington, Connecticut
- Hillsborough County, Florida
- Berea, Kentucky
- Anne Arundel County, Maryland
- Montgomery County, Maryland
- Fitchburg, Massachusetts
- Redford, Michigan
- Traverse City, Michigan
- Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas
- Clark County, Nevada
- Galloway, New Jersey – Stockton University
- Ocean City, New Jersey
- Springfield, New Jersey
- Jefferson County, New York
- Suffolk County, New York
- WNY STEM – Buffalo/Niagara, New York
- Hershey, Pennsylvania – Milton Hershey School
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – University of Pittsburgh
- Knox County, Tennessee
- Burleson, Texas
- Ector County, Texas
- Klein, Texas
- Marfa, Texas
- Pharr, Texas
- iForward – Grantsburg, Wisconsin
Sao Paulo, Brazil conducted two Mission Patch competitions. One for students across Brazil that did not participate in the experiment design competition and one for students that did. We decided to open the opportunity to all students in Brazil, believing this will leverage the program’s name and their interest about space and science. We received 130 patch designs from students that did not participate in experiment design and 174 patch designs from the 4 schools in Brazil that did participate in the experiment design competition. The voting system was online and we got a total of 5149 votes this year. For the non-participants, the winner was Amanda from Maria Edith Rhoden School. Her design celebrates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 with an astronaut carrying the flag of her region, the State of Bahia. The other winner was Isabella Azevedo from EMEE Olga Benário Prestes – Diadema.
Edmonton Public Schools’ SSEP Mission Patch Competition was open to all district students in kindergarten to grade nine. There were two competitions; kindergarten to grade four and grades five to nine. 767 students submitted their patches to the K-4 competition and 1549 students submitted patches to the 5-9 competition. The school level competitions were judged by panels of students, staff and family members. Six schools submitted patches to the K-4 district level competition and 11 were submitted to the 5-9 district competition. The patches selected to represent Edmonton Public Schools were created by Claire Ma, a grade one student at Westbrook School and Kaylee Tam, a grade eight student at Parkview school. Congratulations to all students that participated!
Students and their teachers, from Kindergarten to grade 12, across our school district were invited to take part in our mission patch design competition. In total, we had 164 patches and over 200 students take part in the competition. All the entries were put on display at a local art gallery, The Old School House Arts Centre, for the public to vote on the two patches that will accompany our students’ experiment to the International Space Station. The winning elementary school patch is by Julia Chambers from Arrowview Elementary in Qualicum Beach. Her patch is a stylized flag for the province of British Columbia surrounded by the planets of our solar system. The high school winning entry is by Eryn Goodman from Kwalikum Secondary School in Qualicum Beach. Eryn’s patch shows a Killer Whale jumping out of the ocean in front of the sun with the universe behind.
Students from Winfield City Schools in Winfield, Alabama submitted 603 mission patches in two categories. The elementary category consisted of grades 3-6 with the submission of 388 patches, and the secondary category consisted of grades 7-12 with the submission of 215 patches. A panel of judges, consisting of grade-level and art teachers, selected the winning patches. The elementary winner is sixth-grader Braylee Lynn, and the secondary winner is seventh-grader Kylie Long. Each winner’s design gives a nod to our system’s winning experiment, “The Purification of Water in Microgravity”.
John Muir Middle School proposed a two-patch plan for SSEP competition. All 1,661 students in grades K-5 were required to compete in our Elementary category. Brett Harte (grades K-1), John C. Fremont (grades 2-3), and Mark Twain (grades 4-5) had teachers and administrators judge and sent the 2 top winners from each grade level for a total of 12 patches to be judged. The final 5 patches for Elementary were chosen by John Muir science teachers and administrators. 754 students were required to compete in our 6-8 Middle School category. 10 of our science teachers judged and sent the 2 top winners from their classes totaling 20 to be for the final judging. The final 5 were chosen by John Muir staff and administration. Our school board, State Assemblyman Salas, County Supervisor Valle, and select individuals chose the Mission 13 Patch for Elementary and Middle School to fly to the International Space Station.
Damien High School in La Verne, California had a combined total of over 1100 students in the Mission Patch Design Competitions grades 7-12. The competition had two divisions: High School grades 9-12 and Middle School grades 7-8 from Holy Name of Mary, Loving Savior of the Hills, St. Joseph School, Saint Mark’s Episcopal School, and St. Margaret Mary School. When the competitions were complete, 1,105 students were engaged in the design competition (850 High School, 255 Middle School) and we had 285 final entries (159 High School, 126 Middle School) that we used to select the 2 winning designs. The winning design for the middle school competition was Victoria Chen, an 8th grader from Loving Savior Lutheran School and the winning design for the high school competition was Bryan Gavin, an 11th grader. The high school design is in the shape of a shield to represent the Damien shield and the Spartan Head is our logo which is centered inside an atom to represent the integration of science into every Damien student through the SSEP program.
Moreno Valley Unified School District’s participation in the SSEP Mission 13 Patch Competition involved 220 middle school students (grades 6-8) and 294 high school students (grades 9-12). Each participating student created a mission patch design. The “Brine Shrimp Flight Experiment”, chosen to go to the International Space Station (ISS), influenced many of our student artists as they created a “mission patch”. This competition involved students in learning about microgravity experiments and the history of creating “mission patches” for capturing the excitement of spaceflight. The judges for this year’s district-level competition were comprised of members of the community which included local artists, parent ambassadors, district personnel and Moreno Valley College faculty. The judges recognized the effort and artistry each student put into their patch and were pleased to see our community being represented in the 20 final middle school and 21 final high school submissions. The Patch winners are Melany T. (middle school) and Armando L. (high school).
Riverside Unified organized a patch design competition for all students in grades 5, 6, 9 and 10. The teachers had their Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math classes view videos on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) website which got the students excited about the ISS, microgravity and participating in the patch design contest. In the 5th grade competition, 384 students participated producing 384 patch designs. In the 6th grade competition, 233 students participated producing 233 patch designs. In the 9th grade competition, 197 students participated producing 197 patch designs. In the 10th grade competition, 145 students participated producing 145 patch designs. In all a total of 959 student participants from the Riverside Unified School District participated in the competition, and the patches were judged by the RUSD VAPA Coordinator and STEM department.
Over 370 total students submitted 370 Mission Patch Designs for the Ashford/Willington Mission Patch Design Contest: 201 at the elementary school level (grades K-4) and 169 in grades 5-8. Students were judged in two different categories by a committee of teachers: fifth grader Anna Burnham was selected from the 5-8 division and second grader Ellis Anderson was selected from the K-4 division. Congratulations to all students for participating!
Hillsborough County Public Schools opened the Mission 13 Patch Competition to 91,157 school students in our community, which represented 232 schools. We divided the competition – one for Kindergarten through Fifth Grade students, with 650 patches submitted and another for Sixth through Eighth Grade students, with 81 patches submitted. 731 students drew a design and 731 patches met the requirements for judging by a committee of teachers and community leaders. The Kindergarten through Fifth Grade Mission Patch winner is Luciana Guaman, a Fourth Grade student from Chiles Elementary in Tampa, Florida. The winning patch from the Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade competition was Janvi Patel, a Sixth grade student from Randall Middle School in Lithia, Florida.
Berea Community schools invited students to participate in two competitions. One was open to students in the elementary school. Approximately 500 hundred designs were created by the elementary students in art classes and at home. We were excited to award runner-up awards to students from every grade level in addition to selecting a winning design. A separate competition was conducted in our joint middle and high school. Approximately 580 students were invited to participate. 280 students designed patches in class or on their own. Runner-ups were awarded in each grade level and a winner selected from the 9th grade class. Both winning patches capture the excitement of the Berea Community Pirates striving to reach high goals in learning. Actual patches will be made and distributed to members of the community.
Anne Arundel County Public School System’s SSEP Mission 13 to ISS Patch Design Competition engaged 6th grade students from four Middle Schools. Over 850 students were engaged in lessons designed by a committee of Art teachers that combined Art Standards with the history and tradition of Mission Patches. Students were charged with including symbols that best represented SSEP and Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Over 850 patches were submitted at the school level and evaluated with a rubric. Finalists were judged by a District-level committee comprised of the Coordinator of Visual Arts, the Coordinator of Science as well as a prominent Artist from the greater community.
We are proud to announce that the winning patch was designed by Lilly Barrett from Wiley H. Bates Middle School in Annapolis, Maryland. Her use of perspective and Anne Arundel County symbols made her patch the design which best represents AACPS’s Mission 13!
The mission patch design competition was open to the Parkland student body. Students were allowed to work in pairs as an option to foster creativity and promote teamwork. The competition produced 291 entries from 360 students in grade 7. The winning patches were voted on by students and produced 23 finalists. The 23 finalists were voted on by the community to produce 1 winner. The Maryland flag symbolizes the fact that we are one of the few schools in Maryland to participate in SSEP. The panther symbolizes our school’s mascot and how our Parkland Panther pride is traveling into space for Mission 13.
Monty Tech held two mission patch competitions. The first was afforded all students in grades 9 – 12 the opportunity to participate. 131 patches designed by 120 students were voted on by students, teachers, administrators and staff. Our top selections were then revised and resubmitted. The winning patch was created by Amber Gendron, a junior in our Graphic Communications trade. The second patch competition was opened up to the elementary and middle schools in our surrounding communities. We received 138 patch designs from students in grades 2 – 6 from 5 schools. The winning secondary patch was designed by 3rd grader, Lucy Marro from Varnum Brooke Elementary School. This was a wonderful opportunity to engage students and create a connection between science and art.
Students at Hilbert Middle School submitted over 500 design entries for the Mission Patch Design competition in grades 6 through 8 over two semesters with approximately 250 students submitting a patch design each semester. Hilbert embedded the mission patch design in the Art Department curriculum as a project assignment. Our first semester Mission Patch Design winner is LaShawna Strozier, Grade 8. And, our second semester Mission Patch Design winner is Kyle Ceriello, Grade 8. Congratulations to both students. All Hilbert teaching staff were invited to judge the Mission Patch submissions. Teachers and administrators from Hilbert voted and chose two finalist patches that showcased the unique talents and creativity of the students, making the final decision a difficult task. Hilbert Middle School is very proud of all the students who participated in this competition. Again, the talent and creativity they exhibited on this project was outstanding.
The Traverse City SSEP Community participated in a two-patch Mission Patch Competition for Mission 13 to the ISS. 108 students, grades 6 through 8, at Traverse City West Middle School participated in the mission patch competition as a required assignment as part of their curriculum in art class. 125 patch designs were submitted. A board of review found Arianna Stallman, 8th grade, to be the winner of the middle school competition. 135 students, grades 9 through 12, at Traverse City West Senior High School participated in the mission patch competition as a required assignment as part of their curriculum in art class. These classes include drawing, painting, and graphic design classes. 145 patch designs were submitted. A board of review found Lexi Radtke, 10th grade, to be the winner of the high school competition.
Two cohorts of students from the Kansas City metropolitan area submitted over 250 mission patched that were judged by the Kansas City community at the National Society of Black Engineers Pre-College Initiative fair. The first cohort was made up of 7th and 8th grade students that attend nine middle schools in the Kansas City, Kansas USD 500. The second cohort of 5th through 7th grade students came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development EnVision Center initiative that is led by aSTEAM Village. Over 275 attendees of the NSBE PCI Fair casts their votes for their top 3 mission patch submissions for each cohort and the winning patch from each cohort was selected based on the number of votes earned. The winners will see their patch accompany the selected experiment from Coronado Middle School, Growing Mint in Microgravity, to the ISS this year.
The CCSD community conducted the Mission Patch Competition throughout several schools. Our first competition included almost 800 entries from 850 Kindergarten through 4th grade students and the second competition brought in just over 400 entries from 425 grades 5-12 students. Almost 1,300 students participated in both competitions. The winning patches were selected by a group of judges in the Art Department from the College of Southern Nevada. When designing the winning patch from the first competition, 3rd grader Sevda M. said she thought about space exploration and what it would be like to be an astronaut traveling through space. Saidah C., a fifth grader, said the inspiration for her winning design was thinking about all of the work she did when creating an experiment in the SSEP and her work learning about space and the solar system.
The Stockton University SSEP Community held two patch design competitions: one for K-8 students, and a second for grades 9-12. A total of five hundred and fifty-two (552) total patch entries from 517 students ranging from elementary through high school level were received. Four hundred and fifty-six (456) were in the K-8 division, with each student submitting one patch design, representing twelve schools in the region. In the secondary competition, sixty-one students created ninety-six (96) patch designs representing six high schools. Participating K-12 schools were: Absegami High, Atlantic City High, Brighton Avenue, Cedar Creek High, Dr. Joyanne D. Miller, Eugene A. Tighe, Fernwood Middle, Hammonton High, Manalapan HS, Nellie F. Bennett Elementary, Northfield Community, Point Pleasant Beach High, Port Republic, Roland Rogers, Sovereign Avenue, Toms River Intermediate North, and William Davies Middle Schools. The winning patch design in the upper division was Aldair Diego, grade 11 from Atlantic City High School, and in the lower division was Jannat Jerin, grade 8 from Sovereign Avenue School.
The Ocean City School Community participated in a grades K-8 Patch Design Contest in conjunction with the SSEP. As a result of the two-school contest, two design winners were chosen! Students at the Ocean City Primary School, grades K-3 (386 students) and the Ocean City Intermediate School, grades 4-8 (536 students), began the design process in art class researching and designing sketches based on community focal points, highlights, and elements of space. Next, as part of the schools STEAM initiative and program, student’s utilized digital logo design programming to convert hand-drawn patches into polished final products for contest submission. In all the school community voted on 200 design patches that best represented the district, community, and research elements of Mission 13. The district is proud of all patch submissions — 440 total (146 from grades K-3 and 294 from grades 4-8)! The curriculum expansion surrounding this program has enabled our students to learn about many aspects of science, space, technology, and engineering!
The Springfield Public Schools held two patch design competitions: one for K-5 students, and a second for grades 6-12. A total of 1,070 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, 257 students participated through our middle school art classes, or through the high school’s Studio Art class, Graphic Design class, and Art Club. Samantha Sainato, a 4th grader at James Caldwell Elementary School, created the patch chosen from K-5. Aspyn Lee, an 8th grader at Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School, created the 6-12 selected patch design. The two finalists and all semi-finalist patches and students will be recognized during a future Board of Education meeting.
Students in Jefferson County 4-H programs were offered the chance to compete and design a mission patch emblem that symbolizes the 4-H experiment focused on rust in space, for SSEP Mission 13 to the International Space Station. In total there were 221 participants, 115 students in K-6 and 106 students in grades 7-12. 221 patches were received, with students using the following mediums to create their designs: crayon, pencil drawing, colored pencil, marker, and graphic design software. The final selection for the K-6 category was a design from 5th grader Courtney Hanson from Belleville Henderson 4-H Afterschool Program. The final selection for the 7-12 category was Jasmine Thorpe from Indian River High School 4-H Makerspace Program. The Jefferson County 4-H Advisory Committee made their selections and would like to thank all participants as well as congratulate the two finalists!
The South Huntington Mission Patch was drawn by 5th grader Brihanna Floyd from Maplewood Intermediate School (Art Teacher Dr. Beck, Science Teacher Mrs. Ciccarelli). Brihanna’s patch was selected from among 99 entries produced by 208 students in grades 3-5. The contest was judged by a cohort of administrators, teachers and staff at the South Huntington District office. We are proud of all the student entries, and are excited that Brihanna’s patch will be flying to space along with our district’s winning experiment this summer!
From Kindergarten to grade 12, students from Western New York schools put pencil, crayon, marker, and computer-generated drawing programs to good work to create 528 designs, 60 from the grades K-4 competition and 468 from grades 5-12, for the Mission Patch Design competition, Mission 13. Selected patch designers were: Brian Sounevongsa, 9th grader at Depew High School and Helena Pawlinski, 10th grader at Lockport High School.
A second competition sponsored by Magellan Aerospace featured K-12 students from the Greater Fort Erie Schools as a Hands Across the Border initiative. Greater Fort Erie Secondary School in Fort Erie, Canada, is a grade 9-12 school with a population of 935 students. The design lesson/project was delivered to all four of our grade 9 visual arts classes totaling 100 students. From that cohort 62 patches were generated to various stages of completion. Our winning patch artist was Lerzan Selcuk, Gr. 9.
Milton Hershey School elementary students submitted over 370 entries for the Mission Patch competition in two age categories: 143 from 1st – 2nd grade students and 231 from 3rd – 4th grade students. Our learning community studied the history of space flight, the importance of mission patches, and developed an understanding of how symbols can represent our sacred values. Students then engaged in a design thinking exercise as they created a patch that represents our MHS pride, the High School experiments, and the SSEP program. Microgravity experiments will study the impact of oil paint curing and algae lipid production. Submissions were narrowed down to 50 from each age category. Our community then voted on the best patch for each mission. Our winners are Joshua Ferguson in 2nd grade and Zoya Johnson in 4th grade. We are proud of our part in the SSEP program and elated by the learning of our students.
The University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy offered the opportunity to participate in the Patch Design Competition to every student pharmacist – for a total of about 350 students. Students from the University of Pittsburgh School of Arts and Science were also invited to participate in the competition. In total we had 47 students (Pharmacy, Arts & sciences) actively participate during the competition period and we reviewed a total of 27 design submissions, from which three designs were selected to then meet the guidelines of SSEP, the School of Pharmacy, and the University for use of logo’s and language. All designs submitted for final consideration had to go through a formal university level review process during which one of the three designs was eliminated. The final design was selected by faculty and students to represent the Pitt Pharmacy community on Mission 13.
For the Mission 13 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 456 resulting in 40 patch designs being submitted. The total number of 6-12 students who participated in the competition is 1,111 resulting in 86 patch designs being submitted. The winners from Knox County include Corban Whipple, grade 3, from Belle Morris Elementary School, and Kylee Forester, grade 7, from Holston Middle School.
It was with great excitement we report a total of 1,760 students from Burleson ISD participated in the Mission 13 Patch Competition. There were 730 K-5 students and 1,030 6-12 grade students supporting our SSEP Experiment Design teams with their individual patch designs. Most schools submitted their patches through their art classes, with some art clubs submitting as well. Patches were displayed during our official district “Space Night,” with an attendance of over 3,000 people. Students sought out their mission patch designs and pointed them out to friends, relatives, teachers, administrators, and school board members. The winning K-5 patch was designed by Lily Majerus, a 5th grader from the Academy at Nola Dunn, and a member of Mrs. Cox’s art class. Lily’s patch captures two rockets launching into the atmosphere. The winning 6-12 patch was designed by Cristina N. Gonzalez, an 11th grader from Burleson High School. Our panel of judges appreciated how Cristina’s patch showcased the ISS, the Falcon, and a nod to the US flag. It also showed the expanse of space by highlighting galaxies and constellations. We congratulate the winners, and appreciate the hard work of all student participants!
Ector County Independent School District had 1,150 K-5 students and 409 6-12 students from 13 campuses participate in the Mission Patch Design Competition. A total of 1,559 students entered the contest, each creating their own mission patch design, and two finalists were selected from each campus, which included eight elementary campuses, four middle schools and one high school. A contest was open to the district to cast a vote for their favorite mission patch design for elementary and secondary. A total of 972 votes were casted over a four-day period. The secondary winner is Amaya Villanueva, 10th grader at Falcon Early College High School and the elementary winner is Sofia Patino, 5th grader at Milam Elementary.
Klein ISD conducted two Mission Patch competitions as part of their participation in SSEP Mission 13. Competitions were held on the elementary level (grades K-5) and the secondary level (grades 6-12). Students were informed about the competition by school personnel, primarily art teachers as well as social media. The elementary competition had over 5000 students participate with 86 patches submitted. The secondary competition has over 5000 students participate with 110 patches submitted. During the district wide final selection, one elementary patch design and one secondary patch design were selected to go to the ISS. For local purposes, we identified 1st-3rd places in each category.
The elementary winner was Kevin De La Roca from Kaiser Elementary (5th grade) and the secondary winner was Grace Wasson from Klein Oak High school (10th grade).
The students of Marfa Independent School district competed in the Mission 13 Mission Patch design competition. 128 elementary students were engaged in the competition resulting in 70 patch designs being submitted for judging. The elementary teachers submitted their K-6 class favorite to administration. The high school and junior high participated through the art classes. 134 secondary students were engaged in the competition resulting in 42 patch designs being submitted for judging. The finalists were submitted to the administrative team. Administration chose the submission and write up that displayed the overall vision of Marfa’s participation in SSEP.
With a strong commitment to STEM education, the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District is excited about participating in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Mission 13 to the International Space Station. As a participating community, the district conducted a district-wide Two-Patch Art & Design Competition. A total of 476 students participated, 253 in elementary grades (PK-5) and 223 students in secondary grades (6-12) each submitting an original patch design. Participating campuses held their own local contests and submitted their top patches to the district-wide contest for final judging. A total of 23 finalist patches were submitted by the local competitions for both elementary and secondary schools. The winning elementary patch was designed by Jalynn Villarreal, 5th grade student from Aida C. Escobar Elementary School. The winning secondary patch was designed by Ashley Perez, 11th grade student from PSJA Early College High School.
iForward of Wisconsin Online Charter School is comprised of approximately 750 students, grades 6-12, who reside in communities across the state. The Art and Science departments collaborated on a two-patch plan, contributing to our rich multidisciplinary curricula. We celebrate our learners in reaching the goal for the competitions. The middle school had 103 students participate with 127 patches submitted. In high school 139 students took part and submitted 144 patches. The students met learning goals through understanding history, science, principles of art/design, as well as sharing their process through writing a descriptive paragraph. Each participant completed a variety of Mission 13 patches based on state/national learning standards and the requirements set by the SSEP. It is with great pride that iForward School, announces our winners. Eighth grade student, Ava Hazard submitted a drawing using markers. Ninth grade student, Madeline Alderks created her patch using both hand drawings and digital design. Patches have a long history and importance in the space program. These patches will become part of that great space history when they are transported to the ISS and spend time orbiting the Earth.