SSEP National Partners and Sponsors

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education are proud to be partnering with the organizations listed below on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.

Our SSEP National Partners are organizations that provide unique assets and capabilities that enhance the program on a national level. A multi-faceted partnership with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and in particular the Museum’s Education Department, enables the Museum to serve as the host site for the annual SSEP National Conference, the hub for SSEP video downlinks with astronauts aboard the International Space Station, and the venue for all Step 2 Review Boards for SSEP Missions to ISS. A formal agreement with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) ensures that SSEP is used to showcase utilization of the U.S. National Laboratory on ISS for STEM education. CASIS and Subaru of America, Inc., provide unrestricted underwriting to close budget shortfalls for communities that would otherwise be unable to participate.

Our Conference and Launch Event Sponsors are organizations that provide underwriting for SSEP events, including activities at the launch site for SSEP community delegations in attendance, the annual SSEP National Conference in Washington, DC, and events of opportunity such as an SSEP presence at a conference.

A Word About Our Other SSEP Partners:
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is overseen by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE). in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. SSEP is enabled through a strategic partnership with NanoRacks LLC, which is working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. NCESSE, the Clarke Institute, and NanoRacks are therefore designated SSEP Strategic Partners. To read about the programmatic roles and responsibilities of the SSEP Strategic Partners, visit the Team page.

Partnership is truly a hallmark of SSEP. Over 350 other organizations support SSEP at the local level, including: school districts, private schools, NASA Space Grant lead institutions and other universities, corporate foundations, businesses, community foundations, and local research institutions. These organizations are designated the SSEP Local Partners. To explore the Local Partners, visit the Communities & Local Partners page at the SSEP Community Network Hubsite.


SSEP National Partners

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, in Washington, DC – one of the most visited museums on planet Earth – is host to the annual SSEP National Conference. The conference provides student teams from across the SSEP community network the opportunity to present on their experiment designs, and those teams that flew experiments can report results. The objective is to immerse students in the experience of a real science conference – their conference. The conference is typically held the first week of July so that attendees can take part in the 4th of July celebration in the nation’s capital. The conference takes place in the Museum’s Moving Beyond Earth gallery, and Museum research and curatorial staff have provided featured conference addresses. For more information on the National Conference, including agendas and presentation descriptions, and video clip archives of the student team presentations, visit the Annual SSEP National Conference page.

The National Air and Space Museum is the host site for live video-conferences with astronauts aboard the International Space Station, with bridging to thousands of participants across the SSEP community network. Enabled by NASA’s Teaching from Space Office, the first such video-conference took place on November 15, 2012, as part of International Education Week, and was conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education. A total of 12,400 students, teachers, administrators, and guests across 24 SSEP communities were connected live to ISS and the Museum’s Moving Beyond Earth gallery via the Smithsonian’s Vidyo videoconferencing system. At the time of the event, 23 SSEP experiments were being conducted aboard ISS by Station Commander Sunita Williams. SSEP student microgravity researchers across the participating communities were able to ask questions of Commander Williams and Flight Engineer Kevin Ford. Watch the video-conference which was simulcast on NASA TV.

The National Air and Space Museum is also host site for meetings of the SSEP Step 2 Review Board, where finalist flight experiment proposals from each community are reviewed, and the flight experiments are selected. The Review Boards also include Museum staff. To date, the Museum has hosted Step 2 Review Boards for SSEP Missions 1 through 5 to ISS.


CASIS logoCenter for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) is tasked with managing the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory (NL) in accordance with a Cooperative Agreement with NASA. In June 2012, the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and CASIS entered into a Memorandum of Agreement to mutually leverage, through education and public outreach efforts such as SSEP, an understanding of ISS as a national and unparalleled platform for innovation, which can benefit all humankind and inspire a new generation to look to the stars. As part of this Agreement, CASIS has also provided underwriting to close budget shortfalls for communities that would otherwise not be able to participate in SSEP. To date, CASIS underwriting has dramatically impacted participation in SSEP Missions 3 through 6 to ISS:

Mission 3: CASIS support helped 9 of 17 communities participate. These 9 communities reflect 4,520 students formally immersed in experiment design and proposal writing across 9 states (CA, HI, KS, MA, MI, NJ, NY, NC, TX), and resulted in 894 flight experiment proposals submitted by student teams.

Mission 4: CASIS support helped 9 of 11 communities participate. These 9 communities reflect 2,520 students formally immersed in experiment design and proposal writing across 7 states (CO, IN, MI, NY, PA, SC, TX), and resulted in 625 flight experiment proposals submitted by student teams.

Mission 5: CASIS support helped 9 of 15 communities participate. These 9 communities reflect 3,945 students formally immersed in experiment design and proposal writing across 6 states (CA, KY, MA, NJ, NY, NC) and the District of Columbia, and resulted in 571 flight experiment proposals submitted by student teams.

Mission 6: CASIS support helped 10 of 19 communities participate. Starting program operations on February 24, 2014, these 10 of 19 communities are projected to formally engage 4,100 students in experiment design and proposal writing across 6 states (CA, MI, MO, SC, TN, TX), and result in at least 790 flight experiment proposals submitted by student teams.

Across all 4 Missions, CASIS supported 37 communities, and made possible participation by 15,085 students, and 2,880 proposals from student teams (including projected impact for Mission 6).

Watch Ken Shields, CASIS Director of Operations, present at the 2013 SSEP National Conference. For additional information, visit: http://www.iss-casis.org/ and explore all CASIS’s educational partners.


Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru
As a company, Subaru encourages innovation and embraces a culture that includes empowerment and continual learning. We recognize the importance of education, and especially STEM education, in helping to prepare and inspire our youth to become the next generation of business, science, community, technology, and education leaders.

Subaru believes that engaging students in unique learning opportunities, such as this model initiative, are important in bringing STEM education to life. Subaru is proud to be a national partner of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.

As a National Partner, Subaru has to date made possible SSEP participation by 9 communities, including: Pennsauken, NJ; Chicago, IL; Downingtown, PA; Highlands Ranch, CO; Oakland, CA; Rockwall, TX; and San Marino, CA. This corresponds to 3,090 students that were engaged in experiment design due to Subaru’s commitment, and 741 proposal received from student teams.

For additional information visit www.subaru.com.

 

Conference and Launch Event Sponsors

Big Kid ScienceBKS_logo_color

Big Kid Science provides fun and scientifically accurate books on topics in the Earth and space sciences for young adults, written by astrophysicist, educator, and company founder Dr. Jeff Bennett. Big Kid Science sponsored the launch event for SSEP Mission 3b and Mission 4 community delegations attending the launch of Orb-1 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), Wallops Island, VA, on January 9, 2014. Aboard the Cygnus spacecraft were the Mission 3b Falcon II payload of experiments, and the Mission 4 Orion payload of experiments.


NASA Nebraska Space Grant Consortium

nehb_web300x97ppiThe NASA Nebraska Space Grant Consortium sponsored the SSEP Community Network Meetings held at the Florida Institute of Technology in concert with the launches of STS-134, in May 2011, and STS-135, in July 2011. Nearly 300 SSEP students, teachers, parents, and stakeholders attended each of these launches. Consortium Associate Director Michaela Lucas delivered featured presentations on the National Space Grant Network at the meetings.

 

Special Mention

Carnegie Institution of Washington / Carnegie Academy for Science Education

The Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW) was the host site for meetings of the SSEP Step 2 Review Boards in November 2010 for SSEP on STS-134 aand May 2011 SSEP on STS-135. These Boards selected the SSEP experiments to be flown on the final two Space Shuttle flights.  We are proud that CIW staff have participated in nearly every SSEP Step 2 Review Board since program inception in 2010.

 

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.