2013 SSEP National Conference, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC, July 2-3, 2013

NASM

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum as seen from the National Mall in Washington, DC.

 

 

Information still to be determined (if any) is in RED TEXT below.
Last update of this page: July 1, 2013, 4:50 pm ET

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM), the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education are proud to host the 2013 SSEP National Conference at the Museum on July 2 and 3, 2013.

All students and student teams that were engaged in SSEP experiment design and proposal writing—across all six SSEP flight opportunities to date (SSEP on STS-134 and STS-135, and Missions 1, 2, 3 and 4 to ISS)—are wholeheartedly invited to attend their conference with their teachers and school administrators, and their families.

An invitation is also warmly extended to representatives of the over 350 partnering organizations, including underwriting institutions, and research institutions whose researchers have been engaged as expert advisors and as members of Step 1 Proposal Review Boards, and to members of the SSEP Step 2 Review Boards.

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The conference provides a formal gathering place where students present on their experiment designs, and those teams that flew experiments report results. We want to immerse students in the experience of a real science conference. It is fitting. If the SSEP is dedicated to letting students step into the shoes of scientists and engineers, then a conference should be part of the experience.

The SSEP National Conference is taking place in the most visited museum on the planet, and in the new Moving Beyond Earth gallery. A section of the gallery will remain open to the public so that the conference can be part of the public visitorship experience. This is a truly remarkable once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for attendees.

The conference was also scheduled immediately before July 4th in the nation’s capital, so that attendees can stay on and watch the 4th of July fireworks on the National Mall.

IMPORTANT NOTE: SSEP students, their teachers, their families, and representatives of SSEP partner organizations interested in attending the 2013 Conference, and who are not already part of attending delegations, should review this page and contact NCESSE as soon as possible.  Only registered attendees can participate in the conference. Additional attendees will be accepted on a first come first served basis, as conference space remains available.

 

1. A Review of SSEP Program Pedagogy

When designing SSEP, we had our pedagogical approach to STEM education in mind. SSEP empowers the student as scientist, and within the real-world context of science that is far more than exploration through inquiry. SSEP allows student teams to design an experiment like scientists, with real constraints imposed by the experimental apparatus, current knowledge, and the environment in which the experiment will be conducted; it allows students to propose for a real flight opportunity like professional scientists, bringing critical written communications skills to bear; it allows students to experience a real 2-step science proposal review process; it allows students to go through a real flight safety review like professional researchers; and it provides students their own science conference, where they are immersed in their community of researchers, communicating their thoughts, ideas, and experimental results to their peers. Science is more than a way of thinking and interacting with the natural world. Science is more than a book of knowledge. Science is also a complex social landscape filled with challenges, and the need for multi-faceted and successful communication with ones peers. SSEP is about introducing real science to our next generation of scientists and engineers.

 

2. Conference Opportunities and Expectations

The main objective for the conference is to provide student teams a venue to report on their SSEP research, which, for each team, is reflected in the design of a microgravity experiment to assess some facet of nature. Reporting is done through both oral and poster presentations, which is precisely what researchers do at professional science conferences.

Important Expectation: all students attending the conference that were part of SSEP experiment design teams shall present, either individually or as part of a team, an oral PowerPoint presentation in the conference venue (the Moving Beyond Earth gallery), and a poster version of their PowerPoint to the visiting public (in the Space Race gallery). Each Team will be assigned a time for their oral presentation on one of the Conference days, but will be presenting their poster on both Conference days. 

Each presentation at the SSEP National Conference should 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 were 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.

Oral Presentations
Oral presentations should be done in PowerPoint, limited to a MAXIMUM of 10 minutes, including 7 minutes for the presentation and 3 minutes for Q&A (there will be a hard cutoff to ensure we remain on schedule – just like professional conferences), and a rule of thumb is to allow for 1 minute per slide, which suggests no more than 7 PowerPoint slides for a single presentation.

Poster Presentations
As part of the Conference experience, we are setting up tables in the Museum’s Space Race Gallery for display board presentations by the student teams. The idea is to give the students the honor of interacting with the visiting public to the most visited museum on the planet and talk about their SSEP experiments.

The most straightforward way to create your poster presentation is to print in color, and on good quality paper, your PowerPoint slides and then tape them to the display boards. We will make available a 36 x 48 inch display board and a table for each presentation team. Remember the rule of thumb is that a 7-minute PowerPoint should be associated with no more than 7 PowerPoint slides (or 1 per minute), which will fit on the display board.

To get a sense of both the oral presentations in the Moving Beyond Earth gallery, and the poster presentations in the Space Race gallery, see video highlights for prior SSEP National Conferences on the SSEP Scientific Return and Reporting pages.

Important Notes:

  • Oral Presentation Description: In advance of the conference, NCESSE will ask each student team to provide information on their oral presentation, including: the school, the grade level of the team, the presentation title, the type of experiment and SSEP flight opportunity (e.g., Flight Experiment, Mission 2 to ISS), the names of the researchers on the team (broken out by Principal Investigators, Co-Investigators, and Collaborators), the name of the Teacher Facilitator, and a description of the presentation – called an ‘Abstract’. The Abstract shall not exceed 75 words.  Once received and approved by NCESSE, the Oral Presentation Description will be added to this page, in Section 8 below. A sample from last year’s conference is provided below.
    Oral Presentation Descriptions are due no later 5:00 pm EDT, Friday, June 21.

Presidio High School, Presidio Independent School District
Grade levels of Team: 12

Title: The Effect of Microgravity on the Growth and pH of Lactobacillus Acidophilus

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 2 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Illiana Fernandez and Alvaro Ali Romero
Co-Investigator: Rafael Sanchez
Teacher Facilitator: Melody Crowder

Abstract: Presidio High School students are investigating how microgravity affects the growth rate of Lactobacillus acidophilus. Our hypothesis is that microgravity will affect the division and pH of L. acidophilus and the growth rate of the bacteria will slow down. Results will determine need for issuance of probiotics and fermented dairy products in order for astronauts to maintain a healthy digestive system.

  • Photo-Releases: We are video-archiving the conference, with video clips to be posted on YouTube. A signed photo-release from all attendees is therefore essential. In advance of the conference, ALL attendees will need to email a signed photo-release form, allowing video-taping by the Smithsonian. Anyone without a signed photo-release form on file cannot be admitted to the conference site. Photo-release forms will be sent to the community leadership in those communities sending SSEP delegations to the conference.
    Photo-releases are due no later 5:00 pm EDT, Friday, June 21.
  • Bring a Back-up PowerPoint: All presenters are required to email their PowerPoint presentations to NCESSE. However, make sure to bring with you to the Museum a backup of your PowerPoint presentation on a thumb drive.
    PowerPoint presentations are due no later than 5:00 pm, EDT, Friday, June 21.
  • Banner: Remember that for your PowerPoint and poster, you have access to a high resolution SSEP Program banner at: http://ssep.ncesse.org/links/.
  • Food: Attendees are on their own for lunch in the area, and no food or drink can be brought into the Museum. Note that the Museum has a McDonalds.
  • Museum Fees: Entry to the Museum is free but the IMAX films, planetarium shows, and simulator have a fee.
  • Arrival: Please arrive at the Independence Avenue entrance to the Museum each day.

 

3.  Conference Cost

NCESSE and NASM recognize that conference travel costs for attendees are significant, and in the midst of tough economic times.

Professional conferences are always associated with registration fees to cover AV, room rental, and the significant staff time for logistics and program delivery. That said, both NCESSE and NASM have worked hard to minimize conference costs, and have then absorbed these costs in their operating budgets. We do not want to add to the burden for attendees, and feel a memorable and very real research conference at the Museum—for students taking part in this ground-breaking U.S. National STEM education initiative—is something we wanted to do without cost.

We are looking forward to your arrival in the Nation’s Capital, and our get-together as an SSEP family.

 

4. SSEP De-Brief Meeting with Community Program Directors (CPDs) and Teacher Facilitators

The National Conference also provides a venue where SSEP leadership from participating communities across the U. S. and Canada can discuss program successes, areas for improvement, and strategically plan for enhanced and expanded SSEP operations during future flight opportunities. A SSEP de-briefing meeting with Community Program Directors and Teacher Facilitators is therefore scheduled for 2 hours on Day 2 of the 2013 National Conference.

 

5. SSEP National Conference Schedule

Day 1 – July 2 (Tuesday)

8:45
Arrival at Museum through Independence Avenue Doors

9:00-9:20
Welcome Keynote Address in Milestones of Flight Gallery
Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Present, and Inspiring the Future:
Human Exploration, the Journey Continues

Dr. Jeff Goldstein, Center Director, SSEP National Program Director
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE)

9:20-10:00
Magical Time in One the Most Visited Museum on Earth BEFORE the Visiting Public Arrives
The Museum’s east side first floor will be open, including major galleries, and the How Things Fly interactive gallery. The Museum’s Education Division will have Explainers on hand, and educators conducting programs at Discovery Stations.

10:05-12:20
Morning in Moving Beyond Earth Gallery

10:05-10:15
AV Orientation – Filming and Procedures
Paul Griffith, NASM

10:15-10:30
Introductions and Orientation
Jeff Goldstein, NCESSE
Michael Hulslander, NASM
Stacy Hamel, NCESSE

10:30-11:00
Oral 1: Team 1 from Fitchburg, MA
Oral 2: Team 1 from San Marino, CA
Oral 3: Team from Huron County, MI

11:00-11:20
Break

11:20-11:35
Featured Presentation 1
First Women in Space
Dr. Valerie Neal, Curator, Human Spaceflight Collection
Space History Department
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)

11:35-12:05
Oral 4: Team from Cicero, IL
Oral 5: Team 1 from North Charleston, SC
Oral 6: Team from Warren, MI

12:05 -12:20
Featured Presentation 2
Toilet Training … for Space
Michael Hulslander, Manager of Onsite Learning
National Mall Education, Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM)
Adjunct Space Science Educator, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education

12:20-1:30
Lunch

1:30-2:30
Afternoon in Moving Beyond Earth Gallery

1:30-1:50
Oral 7: Team 2 from North Charleston, SC
Oral 8: Team from East Lyme, CT

1:50-2:30
Community Impressions
informal reflections by community leadership on program impact

2:30-2:45
Getting Situated for Poster Presentations

2:45-3:45
Poster Presentations by Student Teams to Museum Visitorship in Space Race Gallery

3:45-5:00
Free Time to Explore Museum

 

Evening 1 – July 2 (Tuesday)
A Special Family Science Night at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
for SSEP Delegations and Smithsonian Institution Staff and Families

ALL ATTENDEES TO THIS EVENT MUST REGISTER. THE URL FOR THE REGISTRATION WEBSITE WAS DISSEMINATED IN AN EMAIL TO SMITHSONIAN STAFF AND SSEP DELEGATIONS.

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum invite Smithsonian staff and their families, and attendees of the July 2-3 Student Spaceflight Experiments Program Conference at the Museum, to a very special Family Science Night. It is an opportunity for parents and students to learn together, and is suitable for 4th grade and up. The evening will be a celebration of what we know about Earth’s place in the cosmos – and that we can even know it. Attendees are invited to come early and walk through the just updated Voyage Scale Model Solar System on the National Mall. In advance of the Family Science Night, the exhibition’s porcelain enamel panels were replaced with updated high resolution color imagery, and new captivating text describing the worlds of the Solar System.

7:45-8:15 pm
Arrival at Museum and exploration of open galleries

8:15-8:25 pm
Entry to IMAX® Theater

8:25-9:05 pm
Welcome and Presentation: A Voyage that will Forever Change Your Perspective of Home
Celebrating the re-dedication of the Voyage Scale Model Solar System on the National Mall
(
see presentation description in Section 7 below)

9:05-9:45 pm
IMAX® Film: Roving Mars
(see film description in Section 7 below)

9:45 pm
Exit Museum

 

Day 2 – July 3 (Wednesday)

8:45
Arrival at Museum through Independence Avenue Doors

9:00-9:20
Welcome Address in Milestones of Flight Gallery
Robotic Explorers of the Solar System
Dr. James Zimbelman, Geologist
Center for Earth and Planetary Studies (CEPS)
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)

9:20-10:00
More Magical Time in One the Most Visited Museum on Earth BEFORE the Visiting Public Arrives
Attendees explore the Exploring the Planets Gallery, which includes an engineering model of the Voyager spacecraft and a meteorite from Mars.

10:05-12:30
Morning in Moving Beyond Earth Gallery

10:05-10:10
AV Orientation – Filming and Procedures
Paul Griffith, NASM

10:10-10:20
Orientation for the Conference Day  

10:20-10:35
Featured Presentation 3
The Curiosity Rover: Update from Mars
Dr. John Grant, Geologist
Center for Earth and Planetary Studies (CEPS)
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)

10:35-11:15
Oral 9: Team from Teachers in Space, Space Frontier Foundation
Oral 10: Team 3 from North Charleston, SC
Oral 11: Team from Pharr, TX 

Oral 12: Team 2 from Fitchburg, MA

11:15-11:35
Break

11:35-11:50
Featured Presentation 4
The U.S. National Laboratory on the International Space Station (ISS)
Ken Shields, Director of Operations
Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)

11:50-12:20
Oral 13: Team from West Hills, CA
Oral 14: Team from Russell County, VA
Oral 15: Team 2 from San Marino, CA

12:20-12:30
Wrap Up in Moving Beyond Earth Gallery
Parting Thoughts

12:30-1:35
Lunch

1:35-1:50
Getting Situated for Poster Presentations

1:50-2:50
Poster Presentations by Student Teams to Museum Visitorship in Space Race Gallery

1:50-3:50
SSEP De-Brief Meeting with Community Program Directors (CPDs) and Teacher Facilitators
NASM Briefing Room

2:50-3:50
Optional NASM Demos and Tours

3:50-5:00
Free Time to Explore Museum

 

6. Featured Presentation Descriptions

Welcome Keynote, Milestones of Flight Gallery, Day 1
Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Present, and Inspiring the Future:
Human Exploration, the Journey Continues

Dr. Jeff Goldstein, Center Director [Bio]
SSEP National Program Director
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE)

We live in a moment in time. It’s the place where the accomplishments of those that came before us meet up with what will be undertaken by future generations. It’s a great place to be, especially if you’re part of the future generation. By learning about the past both in terms of what we know and how we’ve come to know it, and talking to those that work on the frontiers right now, you can choose to shape the future. It’s pretty powerful stuff. Standing on the shoulders of past generations, YOU are now the link between the past and future of human exploration.


Welcome Address, Milestones of Flight Gallery, Day 2

Robotic Explorers of the Solar System
Dr. James Zimbelman, Geologist [Bio]
Center for Earth and Planetary Studies (CEPS)
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)

Since the beginning of the space age, robotic emissaries have left the Earth to be our “eyes, ears, and noses” throughout the Solar System. Several of the pioneering spacecraft are represented in the Milestones of Flight gallery at NASM, and many others can be found throughout the museum. This presentation will review some of the highlights of the past several decades of robotic explorers, and how their results have steadily changed (and improved) our understanding of the planets, moons, comets, and asteroids visited by our spacecraft.


Featured Presentation 1

First Women in Space
Dr. Valerie Neal, Curator, Human Spaceflight Collection [Bio]
Space History Department
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)

Three women made history by being first in space, each for distinctive accomplishments, and women continue to achieve firsts in space. What role did scientific and technical training have in their selection for flight and their duties in space? 


Featured Presentation 2
Toilet Training… for Space
Michael Hulslander, Manager of Onsite Learning [Bio]
National Mall Education, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)
Adjunct Space Science Educator, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE)

Going to the bathroom is something we all do. No wonder that one of the most popular questions an astronaut gets is “how do you go to the bathroom in space?”  Here’s an opportunity for you to learn about the waste collection system used aboard the space shuttle and the International Space Station, and how it’s used while orbiting the Earth at 17,500 mph in a microgravity environment – where everything floats.


Featured Presentation 3

The Curiosity Rover: Update from Mars
Dr. John Grant, Geologist [Bio]
Center for Earth and Planetary Studies (CEPS)
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity landed on Mars in August 2012, near the northern wall of Gale Crater. In less than a year, its exploration of the red planet has already led to many milestones and results, which will be discussed.


Featured Presentation 4

The U.S. National Laboratory on the International Space Station (ISS)
Ken Shields, Director of Operations
Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)

An opportunity to understand the U.S. National Laboratory on the International Space Station (ISS) and the role it plays in enabling a new era in space research and exploration. Learn about investigations that have been done in the past on the ISS and the opportunities that students now have to take advantage of this research platform.

 

7. Family Night Program Descriptions

A Voyage that will Forever Change Your Perspective of Home
Dr. Jeff Goldstein
Center Director, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
Institute Director, Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education

When we venture beyond our home and explore a greater landscape—whether it’s the town beyond our house, or a planet beyond the Earth—we gain a deeper sense of our own existence. It’s a fundamental principle of exploration. To truly know and appreciate our home, we must leave it. So to truly know and appreciate a place called Earth, we must venture beyond it, and recognize the breadth and majesty of a greater universe.

From another vantage point—we are integrally connected to the universe, and it to us—so to know the universe is to know ourselves. And while we may seem small in its shadow, beauty has nothing to do with size—for the universe is revealed with something the size of the human mind.

You’re invited to the story of our existence—a race of explorers, 6 billion tiny souls strong. It is a story that ignites wonder about the universe, and a sense of pride in our ability to reveal its nature through both human imagination and ingenuity. It is a story that humbles us, and brings a sense of humility to our lives. It is a voyage that will forever change your perspective of home.

IMAX® Film: Roving Mars
The mysterious Red Planet, Mars, has inspired countless science fiction dreams and nightmares. Now, for the first time, experience the reality of the Mars surface as seen through the eyes of two intrepid, death-defying explorers – Spirit and Opportunity, the Mars Rovers – in the spectacular new giant screen adventure Roving Mars, exclusively in IMAX® Theatres. The phenomenal size and clarity of the IMAX® screen draws the viewer into a spectacular landscape that is at once awe-inspiring and amazing. And the suspenseful drama of the Rovers’ dogged quest over the rugged terrain may even answer that persistently haunting question – Is there life on Mars.

 

8. Oral Presentations

Oral 1. Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Team 1 of 2

Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
Grade levels of Team: 10 and 12

Title: Effect of Arthrobacter on Polyethylene Decomposition Rate in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 1 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Russell Holbert, Victoria Holbert, Brittany Velez, and Miguel Velez III
Teacher Facilitator: Paula deDiego

Abstract: The purpose of this experiment was to determine if a culture of the genus Arthrobacter has a noticeable increase in the decomposition of polyethylene. Arthrobacter is a genus composed of bioremediators: microorganisms that remove pollutants from the environment. These bacteria are capable of hydrolyzing polyethylene, a hydrocarbon polymer. In bringing the plastic into microgravity, we discovered this strain of bacteria colonize on the plastic in microgravity but not the ground truth.

 

Oral 2. San Marino, California, Team 1 of 2

San Marino High School
Grade levels of Team: 10-11

Title: Effect of Microgravity on the Antibacterial Resistance of P.aeruginosa

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 1 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Mitchell Hee, Jennifer Jiang, Jasmine Kuo, and Annie Surman
Collaborators: Mark Liang, Kara Lukas, Elizabeth O’Neill, Nick Troung, Sara Wong, and Lauren Thai
Teacher Facilitator: Wyeth Collo

Abstract: To facilitate safe continual human presence in low-earth orbit and humanity’s eventual colonization of space, it is essential to determine the necessary dosage and type of antibiotics necessary to treat an infection. In this investigation, P. aeruginosa was used as a model bacteria to understand the effect of microgravity on antibiotic resistance. By comparing a ground control experiment to a flight experiment, we sought to analyze the factors affecting the bacteria.

 

Oral 3. Huron, County, Michigan

Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker Junior High School, Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Schools
Grade levels of Team: 7

Title: The Effect of Microgravity on Calcium Absorption By Bones

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 4 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Chandler Furness, Sarah Hammond, Chelsey Katshor, and Halle Keim
Collaborators: Hannah Hammond and Nicholas Wolschlager
Teacher Facilitator: Diana R. Schulz

Abstract: The Laker team is investigating the effects of microgravity on calcium absorption by bones. Astronauts lose 15-30% of their bone density in space. People on Earth consume calcium supplements to help improve or sustain bone density. We will use calcium and two sections from the same bone: 1) control bone on Earth and 2) experimental bone on ISS. Our analysis will be quantitative since we will weigh, measure and, micro-CT scan the bones.

 

Oral 4. Cicero, Illinois

Unity Jr. High School, Cicero IL
Grade levels of Team: 8

Title: Charlotte Goes to Space

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 2 to ISS

Principal Investigator: Gisela Munoz
Co-Investigators: Stephany Juarez, Aileen Lopez, and Daniela Ortega
Teacher Facilitator: Crystal McDowell

Abstract: Student scientists studied the survivability, development, and feeding behavior of spiders exposed to microgravity. Students developed protocols to culture the Linyphiid spider Diplostyla concolor in a detrital food web terrarium at their school. The resulting spider egg sacs were used to address 4 main research objectives: 1) Do spider egg sacs survive a space launch? 2) Do the spiders develop and hatch in microgravity? 3) Do the spiders exhibit cannibalism as a food strategy after hatching? 4) Do the spiders survive re-entry to earth? Analysis after re-entry helped shed light in to the development of this spider and has helped add Diplostyla concolor and other microarthropods in the list of space bound invertebrates.

 

Oral 5. North Charleston, South Carolina, Team 1 of 3

Palmetto Scholars Academy
Grade level of Team: 7

Title: The Effect of Microgravity on the Oxidation of Iron in a Saltwater Solution

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 4 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Griffin Eslinger and Alexander Puckhaber
Teacher Facilitator: Kellye Voigt

Abstract: A study of corrosion of an iron rod in a saltwater solution is proposed. It is hypothesized that corrosion in microgravity will exceed that of the control, as the stronger effect of surface tension in microgravity increases contact of the iron rod and the salt water. The experiment will use a Type 2 FME. Corroded rod strength will be measured with a tensile machine, and the surface structure examined with a scanning electron microscope.

 

Oral 6. Warren, Michigan

Warren Consolidated Schools – Macomb Mathematics Science Technology Center
Grade level: 11

Title: The Effect of Micro-Gravity on the Growth of Silver Crystals

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 4 to ISS

Co-principal Investigators: Hunter Montrose, Steven Prascius, and Sydney Waynick
Teacher Facilitator: Rose Cybulski

Abstract: The experiment will test if silver crystals can be formed in space and if they are similar to those formed on Earth. This is being tested because crystals can store natural gas due to their porous and rigid nature. It is predicted that crystals will form in space with the same features as on Earth because the actual formation of the crystals is caused by a chemical reaction which is believed to be independent of gravity. In this experiment, the crystals will be compared based on their color, average size, symmetry, number of faces, and mass.

 

Oral 7. North Charleston, South Carolina, Team 2 of 3

Palmetto Scholars Academy
Grade levels of Team: 9-10

Title: How long will erythrocytes take to coagulate in a micro-gravity environment?

Type of Experiment: Proposed Experiment, Mission 4 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Maddy Bessinger, Hunter Black, Delaney Chariker, and Christopher Otap
Teacher Facilitator: Kellye Voigt

Abstract: The effects of microgravity on the coagulation rate of erythrocytes are examined in this experiment. It is hypothesized that erythrocytes will live a shorter amount of time in microgravity. Ground truth experimentation includes the use of dye to determine the life span of a red blood cell.

 

Oral 8. East Lyme, Connecticut

East Lyme Middle School
Grade levels of Team: 5-6

Title: Effectiveness of Hydrogen Peroxide on Aspergillus Niger Growth in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 2 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Noah Barnhart and Makaih Olawale
Co-Investigator: Nick Hyde
Collaborator: Brandon Hall
Teacher Facilitator: Glenn PenkoffLidbeck

Abstract: A yam growing mold in a trash can inspired our researchers to test the effectiveness of spore-killing hydrogen peroxide under microgravity conditions. The tight confines of the FME tube apparatus required a change in experimental design: Malt extract as food and a specific mold type were substituted for the moldy yam, and a stronger hydrogen peroxide was needed since the liquid mold food would dilute its concentration. Once the experiment was returned from space our analysis required we “Think outside the tube!”

 

Oral 9. Teachers in Space, Space Frontier Foundation

West Shore Junior/Senior High School
Grade levels of Team: 10-12

Title: A Study of How Microgravity Affects the Activity of Enzymes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Using the Model of Papain and Gelatin

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 3 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Robert Edmiston, Jaclyn Martin, Harshit Saini, and Sanju Vardhan
Collaborators: Rashad Abdulla, Varun Bansal, Caleb Bryant, Olivia Escandell, David Foster, Anuj Mehindru, Genna Owen, Krunal Patel, Luke Redito, Carissa Sage, and Hannah Schroeter
Teacher Facilitator: Amy McCormick

Abstract: ALS patient paralysis is caused by the buildup of glutamate within the synaptic cleft. This experiment serves as a model of the breakdown of glutamate, using papain to study the enzymatic breakdown of proteins in gelatin. It is the hypothesis of the researchers that an enzyme will be able to function more effectively in a microgravity environment.

 

Oral 10. North Charleston, South Carolina, Team 3 of 3

Palmetto Scholars Academy
Grade levels of Team: 8

Title: The Effects of Microgravity on Tin Whisker Formation on a Lead-Free Solder Testbed

Type of Experiment: Honorable Mention Finalist, Mission 4 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Joseph Garvey and Gabriel Voigt
Teacher Facilitator: Kellye Voigt

Abstract: An experiment designed to study the effects of tin whisker formation on a lead-free solder testbed is proposed. The testbed would have been analyzed with a scanning electron microscope to observe tin whisker formation over a periodicity of many years. Ground truth experimentation includes a metal substrate with lead-free solder for data analysis.

 

Oral 11. Pharr, Texas

Cesar Chavez Elementary
Grade levels of team: 5

Title: How Does Microgravity Effect the Mold Growth on Gerber Graduates for Toddlers lil’ Biscuits?

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 4 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Brianna Azuara and Amanda Chavez

Teacher Facilitator: Celena Miller

Abstract: Students will discuss an overview of mold. The students also share the procedures used to determine the amount of water used in the mold growth experiment and how they learned that that the ideal mold growth for their experiment occurs when there is an equal amount of biscuit and water. Students also discuss the procedures used to prepare the mold experiment for microgravity. During the spaceflight, the student team will conduct two identical experiments – one on the International Space Station and one in their classroom – to see how gravity affects mold growth. Pending the return of experiment, students expect to find that mold will grow faster in microgravity than on Earth because the mold spores are adapted to gravity. In microgravity, they will have no pressure to contain the growth of the mold.

 

Oral 12. Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Team 2 of 2

Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
Grade levels of Team: 10 and 12

Title: Will Microgravity Have a Significant effect on Packed Synthetic HBOCs?

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 2 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: 
Nadia Machado, Tiffany Nguyen, and Ryan Swift
Collaborator: Yeniffer Araujo
Teacher Facilitator: Paula deDiego

Abstract: Our experiment asked the question; will microgravity have a significant effect on HBOCs. Synthetic blood could be an amazing alternative to packed blood cells in a microgravity environment. Our team wanted to determine if there are any changes between the commercial HBOC product in microgravity vs. ground truth. The findings provide evidence to support that there is no difference between the ground truth and the space flight sample.

 

Oral 13. West Hills, California

Chaminade College Preparatory
Grade levels of Team: 10

Title: Microgravity Wine

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 1 to ISS

Principal Investigator: 
Max Holden
Collaborator: Paige D’ Andrea
Teacher Facilitators: Eric Esby and Nancy McIntyre

Abstract: The student investigators from the Chaminade College Preparatory and the Medtronic Foundation studied the effects of microgravity on the rate of Carbon Dioxide production during alcoholic fermentation of grape juice. The student team prepared samples that would run concurrently on the International Space Station and in our lab in West Hills, California. The team believes that the grape juice in microgravity will ferment faster producing more carbon dioxide. Now that the team has received results back, we will present our findings.

 

Oral 14. Russell County, Virginia

Russell County Public Schools
Grade levels of Team: 11-12

Title: The Rate of Oxidation in a Microgravity Environment

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 2 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: 
Diana Odhiambo, Donna Odhiambo, Jacob Akers, and McKinna Collins
Teacher Facilitator: Jane H. Carter

Abstract: The members of the Russell County flight team chose to investigate the effects of microgravity on the rate of oxidation for iron and copper. These two metals were selected based upon their thermal and electrical properties and use in buildings and tools. These metals are also of interest based upon the possibility of them being obtained through galactic mining. Our evaluation will be qualitative in nature.

 

Oral 15. San Marino, California, Team 2 of 2

San Marino High School
Grade levels of Team: 11

Title: Fibroblast Division in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 3 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Jennifer Jiang, Jasmine Kuo, and Kara Lukas
Teacher Facilitator: Wyeth Collo

Abstract: The purpose of the experiment is to observe the effect of microgravity on cell division to see whether the lack of gravity will have a positive, negative, or neutral effect on growth. Cell division is an integral part of life, a process which all multicellular organism must go through. The cells chosen for the experiment are fibroblasts, which play a critical role in the healing of wounds.

 

8. Hotel

The hotel we are recommending for the Conference is the Holiday Inn Washington-Capitol. It is just 2 blocks from the National Air and Space Museum.

For July 1-5:

1) rack rates from the Web (the hotel’s published full price for a room), not including DC sales tax which is currently 14.5%:

  • Best price: $201.00/night with advance purchase (prepaid for the whole stay)
  • Best flexible: $224.00/night (no cancellation penalty until the night before)
  • AAA rate (must have an AAA card at check-in): $214.00/night

2) The hotel has made a “courtesy block” available for NCESSE:

  • Rate is $169.00 per night. This rate does not include DC sales tax, currently 14.5%.
  • Description of the courtesy block provided by the hotel:
    Hotel Accommodations are being held at the Holiday Inn Capitol (550 C Street, SW Washington, DC 20024) for NCESSE for check-in beginning Tuesday, July 2, 2013, check-out Friday, July 5, 2013. Rate is the Government per diem of $169.00 per night. This rate does not include DC sales tax, currently 14.5%. You may begin booking reservations directly on line by clicking on the weblink below. You may also make reservations by calling 1-800 HOLIDAY and referencing booking code TC5. Credit card information is needed at time of reservation. Individual cancellation policy is 72 hours prior to date of arrival to avoid one night’s room plus tax cancellation charge on credit card provided. Please call 1-800 HOLIDAY and reference your confirmation number. Please obtain a cancellation number when cancelling a reservation. Deadline date to make reservation is Tuesday, May 21, 2013. Reservation requests received after the deadline date will be subject to availability and prevailing rate.

Note that this is a busy weekend at the hotel, so it is best to make your reservation early, and definitely by the reservation deadline to take advantage of this special rate.

To make reservations at the Holiday Inn Washington-Capitol using the courtesy block (booking code TC5) CLICK HERE

Note that the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is just two blocks from the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station, so there are many other hotels in the metro DC area that are a short metro trip away from the conference site. If the conference hotel sells out, or you’re interested in finding a lower lodging rate than the ones quoted above, the museum is just a metro trip away.

Hotel rates further away from downtown DC may be significantly lower, so you may want to check hotels close to metro stops in the metro DC area. The yellow, green, orange, and blue metro lines stop at the L’Enfant Plaza metro station, and you can transfer easily to these lines from the red metro line, as well. For example, there are many hotels near Crystal City and King Street yellow and blue line metro stations, as well as along the orange line metro stops in Arlington (Court House and points west.) There are also many hotels along red line metro stops in Friendship Heights, Bethesda, Rockville, and Silver Spring. To look for lower lodging rates near metro stops in the area, we recommend you use a hotel search engine or booking site of your choice and search around a metro stop that is most convenient for you.

 


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 NanoRacks LLC, 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 Museum, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)Carnegie Institution of Washington, NASA Nebraska Space Grant Consortium, and Subaru of America, Inc., are National Partners 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 NanoRacks LLC, 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.