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 16 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 16 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 24 selected Mission 16 microgravity flight experiments from student teams, representing the 22 communities participating in Mission 16, comprise the SSEP Ranger experiments payload, named after NASA’s Ranger Program, which imaged the lunar surface in advance of the Apollo Moon landings.
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 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 20 of 22 Mission 16 to ISS communities conducting Mission Patch art and design competitions, 14,918 grade K-16 students were engaged, and 14,921 patch designs were submitted. Judges within the communities selected the 30 patches shown below.
You can also read more about the Mission 16 to ISS Patch Competition at the main SSEP website.
Quickly Scroll to Individual Communities
- Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
- Moreno Valley, California
- Perris, California
- Hillsborough County, Florida
- Ocala, Florida
- Lake Charles, Louisiana
- University System of Maryland, Maryland
- Grand Blanc, Michigan
- Hoboken, New Jersey
- Albany, New York
- Buffalo/Niagara, New York
- Garden City, New York
- Norwood, New York
- Pickerington, Ohio
- Burleson, Texas
- Ector County, Texas
- Texarkana, Texas
- Bellingham, Washington
- iForward-Grantsburg, Wisconsin
Ukraine conducted one Mission Patch competition for students in grades 6-9. Five schools offered the opportunity to students and 102 students, each creating one Mission Patch design, submitted artwork. The Mission Patch designs went through a two-step selection process. First a panel of professionals from the art and fashion world evaluated the designs and then the winner was selected by popular vote via Instagram. The winning patch was designed by Babak Yevhenia Viacheslavivna, a 10th grade student at Kharkiv gymnasium.
School District 43 (Coquitlam, Canada) hosted two Mission Patch Competitions. Both competitions encouraged students to submit a graphic design that celebrated the 2021-22 Mission 16 SSEP experience. The first competition involved 244 Grade K-5 students each submitting patches. The winner of this competition is Daniel Pan (Grade 5) from Leigh Elementary School. The second competition involved 115 Grade 6-12 students each submitting patches. The winner of this competition is Grace Moseley (Grade 7) from Hillcrest Middle School. The students enjoyed the design process and submitted excellent mission patch design proposals.
This year four schools and a total of 333 students participated in the district competition for SSEP Mission 16 Patches. The competition took place from Jan 31-Feb 4, 2022. The students used their artistic skills to represent the winning SSEP experiment “The Effects of Microgravity on The Germination of Carrot Seeds”, our district, and our community. The participating schools were: Mountain View Middle School-48 students (8th grade), Palm Middle School-56 students (6th Grade), Canyon Springs High School-90 students (Grade 9-12), Valley View High School-144 students (Grade 9-12). Two winning patches were from Palm Middle School and Valley View High School. The judges were impressed with the attention to the details, and the students’ pride in their community, district, and schools, expressed in the sketches.
Val Verde Unified School District ended up hosting one patch competition for students grade pre-k through 5. Our elementary contest was extremely well received! All of our students (roughly 8,000) were invited to participate, and we received 236 submissions! Elementary teachers embedded this creative activity into their NGSS Earth/Space Science instructional focus, and it was a great learning extension assignment. It was challenging to select just one winner, since the artistic quality of submissions was excellent! Our winning submission, from 3rd Grader Emory Valdez, was carefully designed, and we are proud to celebrate sending his patch “out of this world!” In April, 2022, Emory will be recognized at our district School Board meeting, and the City of Moreno Valley will soon follow suit. Plans are underway to produce an enamel pin featuring his design, so that the Val Verde community can support his accomplishment!
Hillsborough County Public Schools opened the Mission 16 Patch Competition to 15,272 school students in our community, which represented 187 schools. We divided the competition – one for Kindergarten through Fifth Grade students, with 152 patches submitted and another for Sixth through Eighth Grade students, with 127 patches submitted. 279 students drew a design and 135 patches met the requirements for judging by a committee of teachers and community leaders. The Kindergarten through Fifth Grade Mission Patch winner is Andrea Acevedo, a fourth grade student from Morgan Woods Elementary in Tampa, Florida. The winning patch from the Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade competition was Alayna McLaughli a sixth grade student from Rodgers Middle School in Riverview, Florida.
The Marion County Public Schools conducted a one Mission Patch competition in support of our SSEP. The competition was open to all students in grades K-12. We were very happy to have over 500 students create and submit Mission Patch designs that represent Marion County and the SSEP. After reviewing all of the submissions, the judges selected Ja’lynne Benbow Ayana, a Senior at North Marion High School, as the winner.
The Region 5 STEM Center sponsored two mission patch contests for SSEP Mission 16. Any K-12 student in Region 5 (Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jeff Davis, and Vernon Parish) could enter the contest at his/her school. Each school in the region was expected to designate a judge (the school’s art teacher perhaps) to pick the school’s winning patch; with the art teachers conducting the contest at each school. Each school’s winning patch was to be sent to district-level art consultants, specialists, etc. to pick the region’s winning patch. For Region 5, Mission 16’s winning Mission Patch artists are Caroline Dyson and Sam Dondapati.
The University System of Maryland SSEP Mission 16 to ISS Patch Design Competition engaged 43 undergraduates (grades 13-16) from Frostburg State University, Salisbury University, and Towson University. Most undergraduates competed to submit one patch for the competition, leading to 46 patch submissions. A committee composed of 5 members (four artists, one scientist) selected the finalist. Kennedy Workman (Salisbury University) describes her design: “I designed a circular patch with an astronaut placed in the center, holding the Maryland state flowers, black eyed Susan’s. I incorporated elements of the state of Maryland by including the state flower, placing the state flag on the astronaut’s suit, and using the state flags colors of red, white, yellow, and black in my design. […] The astronaut is also placed in the perspective that they are floating towards you and coming into the viewers space and out of the patch.”
118 students in grades 2-8 competed in the Perry Innovation Center Mission 16 Patch Design Competition. 12 patches were then chosen by the SSEP Community Director. Our staff at PIC then voted to determine the winning Mission 16 Patch. The winning patch was designed by 4th grader, Jameela Bacon.
The students at Hoboken Middle School participated in the SSEP Mission Patch Art and Design Competition. In their science classes, 372 students, in grades 6 through 8, took part in designing a patch that captures the essence of the SSEP Mission 16 and the Hoboken School District. Under the guidance of their science teachers and the art teacher, the students learned about the SSEP Mission 16 and its history. Each class selected a patch that they felt represented the purpose and meaning of the competition. The winning patch was then chosen from the narrowed down selection by a committee made up of various faculty members.
The SSEP Experimental Design competition occurred in our Grade 8 Science classes, so we expanded our SSEP Mission Patch competition to all Middle School Students to generate excitement for future SSEP participation in Grades 6 and 7 and to retain SSEP momentum in Grade 8. Encouraged by their teachers, students worked individually on their patch designs by hand and on the computer. 106 patches were submitted from 33 students in Grade 6, 2 students in Grade 7, and 71 students in Grade 8 and represented three of the four schools that originally participated in the Fall SSEP experimental design activities. The patches were evaluated blindly by an internal team of teachers and administrators; the winning patch was decided by consensus. The City School District of Albany is excited to send our SSEP Mini-Lab and Mission Patch to the International Space Station in 2022.
WNY SSEP conducted a mission patch competition to engage art and design students in the SSEP program. We formally engaged 178 students (80 students from 5th grade, 55 from 9th grade, 24 from 10th grade, 12 from 11th grade, and 7 from 12th grade) from Wellsville Central School and Lockport High School, with each student creating a single patch design. The local review panel received 35 flight patch designs and recognized the top 3 and one honorable mention. The flight patch chosen for flight on the ISS was designed by a 12th grade student from Wellsville.
Garden City School District engaged all K-12 students in the SSEP Mission Patch Art and Design competition as part of the art curriculum. There were two separate competitions, one for all students in kindergarten through grade 6 and another for grades 7 through 12. All 2,210 students who participated at the K-6 level and all 1,100 students who participated at the 7-12 level submitted individual patch designs. Their work was judged by panels of teachers, administrators and staff members. The patches selected to represent our district were created by Maggie Rogers, a 5th grade student from Stewart Elementary School, and Sophia Cresciullo, a 7th grader from Garden City Middle School. All patches created by our students are put on display throughout the district to celebrate our participation in the SSEP. The winning patches are turned into large format posters and displayed in the artists’ schools and the Central administration building.
The SSEP Mission 16 patch design competition from Clarkson Discovery Challenge – Space in St. Lawrence County, New York, was promoted in participating SSEP schools and other public schools in the county through multiple direct contacts with art teachers. An unduplicated count of 323 patches was received: 161 from grades K-4 and 162 from grades 5-12. All grade levels Kindergarten through grade 12 were represented, with different schools involving different grade levels. No entries were eliminated at the school level. Patches were designed using a variety of mediums, including watercolors, markers, crayons, tempera paint, and digital imagery. The preliminary selection was conducted by the Clarkson University SSEP team. Ten percent of entries from each level were then digitally sent to our business sponsor, Corning, Inc. for review and final selection. Clarkson University will continue to spotlight the SSEP program and students’ artwork through a digital display for use at university events.
Nearly 11,000 Pickerington students were invited to compete in the SSEP Mission 16 Art Patch Competition. The elementary/middle school division involved 401 students, while the junior high/high school division had 105 students with each student submitting an original Mission Patch design. A key factor in generating interest in the competition was sending the SSEP research team finalists to our schools. The teams presented brief microgravity lessons and answered questions from curious young students. Additionally, our flight experiment, “Algae: The Fuel Source of Space,” influenced many students to create mission patches with images representing the experiment. We even had submissions from our high school graphic arts classes. Our two winners are Morgan Reed, a Senior at Pickerington High School Central, and Isabelle Stadler, a 4th-grade student from Sycamore Creek Elementary. During an upcoming school board meeting, the Pickerington community will recognize our two art patch competition winners and SSEP project finalists.
Burleson ISD in Burleson, Texas participated in the SSEP Mission 16 Patch Competition with approximately 1,150 students participating. Two competitions were held with one being for grades K-5 and the other being for grades 6-12. Grades K-5 saw 831 submissions, and grades 6-12 saw 305 submissions. The kindergarten through 12th-grade students supported our SSEP Experiment Design teams with their individual patch design submissions. The schools submitted their patches through their art classes or individually through an online form. The patches were displayed during our official district “Space Night.” The winning K-5th grade patch was designed by Emily Peterson, a 5th grader from the Academy at Nola Dunn, and a member of Mrs.Cox’s art class. Emily’s patch is red, black, and white and features an astronaut in full gear. The winning 6th-12th grade patch was designed by Olivia Gardner, a 10th grader from Centennial High School. She designed the patch under the guidance of his art teacher, Mr. Adam Palmer. His patch features a rocket flying over the moon, with an American flag in full display. We congratulate the winners, and appreciate the hard work of all student participants!
Ector County Independent School District had 1842 Pre-K through fifth-grade students and 614 sixth-grade through twelfth-grade students from 19 campuses participate in the Mission Patch Art and Design Competition. A total of 2456 students Pre-K through twelfth-grade entered the contest, each creating an original mission patch design. Participating campuses held their own local contest and submitted up to two patches to the district-wide contest for final judging. The finalists selected from each campus included fourteen elementary campuses, three middle schools and two high schools. The district-wide contest was opened to all staff members to cast a vote for their favorite elementary and secondary patch design. A total of 400 votes were cast over a four-day period. The elementary winner is Celeste Ortega, 3rd grader at E. K. Downing Elementary School and the secondary winner is Vivian Hernandez, 6th grader at Crockett Middle School.
The Texarkana Independent School District completed the Mission Patch Design Competition on February 17, 2022. We held an elementary school patch competition involving our K-5 campuses and a secondary patch competition involving our middle and high school Fine Art students. There were 3064 mission patches submitted from our elementary level competition. At the secondary school level, grades 6-12, there were 852 mission patches submitted. The 10 person Mission Patch committee, including teachers, administrators, and community members, spent time evaluating the submissions, before narrowing down the selections to 4 top finalists at the elementary level, 4 top finalists in 6-8 secondary, and 4 top finalists in 9-12 secondary. Our Elementary Patch winner was Kindergarten student, Jacie Ramsey, with a design honoring our SSEP team and their experiment flying into space. Our Secondary Patch winner was Sophomore, Astrid Cabrera, with a design demonstrating the love for our school district, Mission 16, and space. All student finalists and patch competition winners will be honored.
Lummi Nation School (LNS) proposed a two-patch plan for SSEP competition. Selection from grades K-6 and from grades 7-12 were made. The review panel consisted of two K-6 instructors and two 7-12 instructors. 198 grade K-6 students and 25 grade 7-12 students participated in the competitions, with each student submitting a patch design. K-12 teachers chose the top two selections from each class for a total of 29 patches. The review panel, two K-6 and two 7-12 educators, selected the overall K-6 and 7-12 representatives after receiving student and community input via the LNS Facebook page.
iForward Wisconsin Online Charter School conducted a two mission patch competition for SSEP Mission 16; our fifth consecutive year taking part in this powerful learning opportunity connecting young scientists and artists from across the world. Our virtual online charter school educates over 1,100 students, grades K-12, from across Wisconsin. The Mission 16 Patch Project engaged 415 online students in grades K-12 with 215 students in grades 8-12 and 200 students in grades K-7 participating. Each participating student submitted a patch design. A total of 303 possible designs were submitted to the initial review committee vying for the trip aboard the International Space Station. Our winning participants are eleventh-grader Kennedy Hepfner and kindergartener Grayson Mashak. Their designs were selected to represent the iForward online community on Mission 16.