Announcing: Major (G5-16) STEM Opportunity for School Districts Starting September 2015 - Student Spaceflight Experiments Program - Mission 9 to the International Space Station
The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, and NanoRacks announce Mission 9 to the International Space Station. This STEM education opportunity immerses grade 5-16 (pre-college and 2- and 4-year college and university) 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, 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 the experiment to the International Space Station in Spring 2016, and return is safely to Earth for student harvesting and analysis. A 9-week experiment design competition in each community, held September through November 2015, and locally 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 Station. SSEP is therefore more suitably characterized as a community-wide STEAM experience.
TIME CRITICAL: all interested communities are asked to inquire by April 30, 2015; schools and districts need to assess interest with their staff and, if appropriate, move forward with an Implementation Plan. Communities must be aboard by August 31, 2015, for a 9-week experiment design and proposal writing phase from September 7 to November 6, 2015. The flight experiment will be selected by December 17, 2015. Launch of the Mission 9 to ISS “Endeavor” experiments payload is expected in Spring 2016.
NEXT STEP: carefully read the SSEP Home page, which provides an Executive Summary of the Program and the Mission 9 to ISS Flight Opportunity:
Of interest: SSEP was showcased in Scientific American, February 17, 2015 http://goo.gl/9eSI0j
Dr. Jeff Goldstein, SSEP Program Director; cell 301-395-0770; firstname.lastname@example.org
Since program inception in June 2010, there have been ten SSEP flight
opportunities: SSEP on STS-134 and STS-135, which were the final flights of Space Shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis; and SSEP Missions 1 through 8 to ISS. A total of 110 communities have participated in the program across the U.S. and Canada, and 25 communities have participated in 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 flight opportunities, reflecting the sustainable nature of the program. Through the first nine missions, a total of 45,970 grade 5-15 students (including 2- and 4-year college communities) were fully immersed in microgravity experiment design, and 10,443 flight experiment proposals were submitted by student teams.
CURRENT SPACEFLIGHT OPERATIONS:
The SSEP Mission 6 to ISS "Yankee Clipper II" payload of 17 experiments was launched on the SpaceX-5 rocket, January 10, 2015, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, adjoining NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Yankee Clipper II was operated on orbit by Space Station Commander Barry Wilmore. Yankee Clipper returned to Earth on February 10, 2015 aboard SpaceX-5, splashing down in the Pacific off the California coast. All student flight teams are now harvesting and analyzing their experiment samples, and will have an opportunity to report findings at the 2015 SSEP Conference at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, July 2-3, 2015.
We are now in pre-flight operations for the launch of the Mission 7 to ISS "Odyssey" payload of 25 SSEP experiments, one for each participating community, and which launches on SpaceX-7 from the Cape, currently set for June 19, 2015.
YES THIS IS VERY REAL. THIS IS THE REAL SPACE PROGRAM, and we are inviting you to come aboard.
SSEP STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education
SSEP NATIONAL PARTNERS - USA
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)
Subaru of America, Inc.
SSEP NATIONAL PARTNERS - CANADA
This on-orbit, real research opportunity for students is enabled through NanoRacks LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a