STEM Opportunity to Int'l Space Station

Announcing for 2014-15: Major (G5-14) STEM Opportunity for School Districts - Student Spaceflight Experiments Program -- Mission 7 to the International Space Station (The above subject line/title can hotlink to this URL: http:ssep.ncesse.org)

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, and NanoRacks announce Mission 7 to the International Space Station. This STEM education opportunity immerses grade 5-14 students across a community in an authentic, high visibility research experience, where student teams design and propose real microgravity experiments to fly in low Earth orbit on the International Space Station. The program nurtures ownership in learning, critical thinking, problem solving, navigation of an interdisciplinary landscape, and communication skills – all reflective of the Next Generation Science Standards, and reflective of the skills needed by professional scientists and engineers, and the skills desired by 21st century employers.

Each participating community will be provided a real microgravity research mini-laboratory capable of supporting a single experiment, and all launch services to fly it to Space Station in Spring 2015, and return is safely to Earth for student harvesting and analysis. A 9-week experiment design competition in each community, held September through November 2014, and engaging typically 300 students, allows student teams to design and formally propose real experiments vying for their community's reserved mini-lab on Space Station. A formal 2-step proposal review process, mirroring professional review, will determine the community’s flight experiment. Content resources for teachers and students support foundational instruction on science in microgravity and experimental design. Additional programming leverages the experiment design competition to engage the community, embracing a Learning Community Model for STEM education. This includes a local art and design competition for a Mission Patch to accompany the flight experiment to Space Station. SSEP therefore provides for a community-wide STEAM experience.

TIME CRITICAL: all interested communities are asked to inquire by May 30, 2014; schools and districts need to assess interest with their staff and, if appropriate, move forward with an Implementation Plan. Communities must be aboard by September 3, 2014, for a 9-week experiment design phase September 8 to November 7, 2014, and flight experiment selection by December 17, 2014. Flight of the selected experiment to ISS is expected in Spring 2015.

Contact: Dr. Jeff Goldstein, SSEP Program Director; 301-395-0770; jeffgoldstein@ncesse.org  

Deadline: 
Friday, May 30, 2014