Annual SSEP National Conference

A group shot of the SSEP student researcher delegates presenting on the second day of the 2018 National Conference, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, June 29, 2018. Click on the Image to Zoom.

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum hold an annual SSEP National Conference in the nation’s capital in June/July. The conference is either held at the Museum on the National Mall, or the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA, adjacent to Dulles airport. Student research delegates from communities participating in the last 5 SSEP Missions present on their experiment designs, and those teams that flew experiments report on analysis and results. We want to immerse students in the experience of a science conference. It is fitting. If SSEP is dedicated to letting students step into the shoes of scientists and engineers, then a conference should be part of the experienc

At the bottom of this page are sample video clips of student team oral presentations at the upper elementary, middle, high school, and undergraduate levels. All student oral presentations are videotaped and are archived by SSEP. You can watch all presentations on the Scientific Return and Reporting pages. Also at the bottom of the page is a conference photo album.

The conference includes featured presentations by nationally recognized space scientists and engineers that passionately talk about exploration on the frontier, and inspire many young women and men to follow in their footsteps. Watch the sample video clip below of astronaut Don Thomas who flew on 4 Space Shuttle missions. Visit the Videos of Conference Featured Presentations page, to watch all presentations dating back to the 2014 Conference.

The conference also includes open mic time for Community Impressions, where attendees – students, teachers, administrators, and parents – talk about the impact of SSEP in their community. Watch the video clip below for the Community Impressions segment at the 2017 Conference. Visit the SSEP Impact from Conference Attendees page to watch Community Impressions segments dating back to 2013.

Expectations for Student DelegatesAll students attending the conference that are part of SSEP experiment design teams shall present, either individually or as part of a team, an oral PowerPoint presentation in the conference venue, and a poster version of their PowerPoint to the visiting public. Each presentation shall include the science addressed by the experiment and why, the essential question that drove experiment definition, and the design of the experiment, including procedures for analysis of results (e.g., comparison to a ground truth experiment.) For student teams that:

a. did not have their experiment selected for flight, the presentation should report on their ground truth experimental results, and possible hypotheses as to what they might have found if the experiment had been done on orbit and why.

b. had a flight experiment and it returned from orbit well in advance of the conference, the presentation should include formal experiment analysis and results.

c. had a flight experiment, but it returned to Earth just in advance of the conference, the presentation should report on preliminary results from the ground truth and flight experiments.

d. have a flight experiment, but it has not yet flown, the presentation should report on preliminary ground truth results if possible, and possible hypotheses as to what they might find when the experiment is done on orbit and why.

e. have a flight experiment currently on ISS, the presentation should include the current state of activities for both on-orbit experiment and ground truth experiments.

The Center is honored to be partnering with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the annual SSEP National Conference. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is a SSEP National Partner, and is also the venue for meetings of the SSEP Step 2 Review Board where the flight experiments are selected for each SSEP flight opportunity.

Explore prior SSEP National Conferences via these pages–

Jump to the July 1-2, 2019 SSEP National Conference page

Jump to the June 28-29, 2018 SSEP National Conference page

Jump to the June 28-29, 2017 SSEP National Conference page

Jump to the June 29-30, 2016 SSEP National Conference page

Jump to the July 2-3, 2015 SSEP National Conference page

Jump to the July 2-3, 2014 SSEP National Conference page

Jump to the July 2-3, 2013 SSEP National Conference page

Jump to the July 2-3, 2012 SSEP National Conference page

Jump to the July 6-7, 2011 SSEP National Conference page

 

 

SSEP National Conference Video Highlights

 

1. Featured Presentation, Astronaut Don Thomas
2018 SSEP National Conference

Dr. Don Thomas became an astronaut in 1991, and flew on 4 Space Shuttle Missions: STS-65
Columbia, STS-70 Discovery, STS-83 Columbia, and STS-94 Columbia

 

 

2. Elementary School Presentation, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
2018 SSEP National Conference, Oral Presentation 8
Finalist Proposal, SSEP Mission 12 to ISS

Title: Duckweed: A Tiny Aquatic Plant that Floats but a Very Important Part of our Lives
Co-Principal Investigators: Andre Bardelas, Czarina Mabilen
Co-Investigators: Jancel De Leon, Juliana Pescasio, Eon Rodriguez
Teacher Facilitator: Clara Kusumoto

 

 

3. Middle School Presentation, Vista, CA
2017 SSEP National Conference, Oral Presentation 17
Flight Experiment, SSEP Mission 11 to ISS

Title: The Regeneration of Dugesia japonica in Microgravity
Principal Investigator: Evie Currington
Co-Investigators: Charlotte Currington, Isabella Ansell, Sydney Wagner, Isabel Camacho
Teacher Facilitator: Christine Bartee

 

 

4. High School Presentation, Houston, TX
2016 SSEP National Conference, Oral Presentation 24
Flight Experiment, SSEP Mission 10 to ISS

Title: Influence of Microgravity in the Regeneration of the Planarian Species Girardia Dorotocephala
Co-Principal Investigators: Ben Appiah, Richard Gomez, Isaiah Ogunmaken, Bassam Razzaq, Matthew Vuong
Teacher Facilitator: Guchmyrat Paytakov

 

 

5. Undergraduate Presentation, University of Maryland College Park
2016 SSEP National Conference, Oral Presentation 19
Flight Experiment, SSEP Mission 10 to ISS

Title: Bacterial Motility in Microgravity
Co-Principal Investigators: Yaniv Kazansky, Aaron Solomon, Garshasb Soroosh
Collaborator: Wade Winkler
Teacher Facilitator: Kenneth Frauwirth

 

 

6. Community Impressions – attendees have open mic to discuss impact of SSEP
2017 SSEP National Conference

 

 

SSEP National Conference Photo Album

Click to zoom in on the Conference photos below.


The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space MuseumCenter for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and Subaru of America, Inc., are U.S. National Partners on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. Magellan Aerospace is a Canadian National Partner on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.

The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.