Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Mission 13 Finalists Announced

Dec. 3, 2018 – The Burleson Independent School District (BISD) hosted its 5th Annual Space Night Symposium on Nov. 8, 2018. Over 2,500 students participated in this event (955 Student Research Scientists and 1,738 Mission Patch designers), which showcased Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Mission 13 to the ISS microgravity experiments and Mission Patch Design Contest winners. The event ended with Step 1 Local Review Board convening at the Centennial High School Bistro to select the final experiment designs to advance to the SSEP National Step 2 Review Board for judging.

 

This year, four student microgravity experiment designs were submitted for Step 2 Review. Upon receipt of BISD’s three finalist proposals, it was determined that a chemical used in one proposal may be problematic for passing flight safety review, and NCESSE urged BISD to submit an alternate proposal. A fourth team was selected and their proposal submitted. However, the payload services provider soon thereafter determined that the problematic chemical would be acceptable. Rather than disappointing any of the teams, NCESSE decided to accept all four proposals for equal review.

 

“Once again our teachers were able to guide students through microgravity experiment design and proposal writing, and student critical thinking pushed the envelope of experiment constraints!” said Stacy Hughes, BISD’s SSEP community program co-director. “Imagine being a 5th, 6th, or 7th grader and thinking through and designing an experiment that must fit in a 10 mL tube, with a maximum of 3 volumes, and must start and stop while in microgravity. It’s difficult to think about, yet our students follow their curiosity every year and work through these constraints to design successful experiments. It is always amazing and exciting.”

 

The SSEP National Step 2 Review Board met on November 29 and November 30 to select the flight experiment for our district. Meanwhile, the finalist teams will be recognized at the Dec. 10, 2018 meeting of the Burleson ISD Board of Trustees. The flight experiment chosen by the Step 2 Review Board will be announced in late December 2018.

 

Congratulations to these Step 2 SSEP finalists:

Kerr Middle School (Principal Dr. Kalee McMullen): Teacher Facilitator: Mrs. Allison Buckingham The effects of microgravity on Nylon Grade Level: 6th grade Team Members: Co-Principal Investigators: Keira Clotfelter, Jack Dietz, Tommy Gifford, and Waylan Kisor

The REALM at Kerr Middle School (Dean Cheryl Essex) : Teacher Facilitator: Mrs. Laura Smith Crystal Clear View on Insulin Grade Level: 7th grade Team Members: Co-Principal Investigators: John Balian, and Alex Ferguson

STEAM Middle School (Principal Chris Chappotin) : Teacher Facilitator: Mrs. Alyssa Sanchez The effects of microgravity on earthworm growth Grade Level: 6th grade Team Members: Co-Principal Investigators: Sara Gutierrez Cortazar, Carolyne Harvey, John Irons, Sohan Islam, and Ashlyn Johns

STEAM Middle School (Principal Chris Chappotin) : Teacher Facilitator: Mrs. Alyssa Sanchez The effects of microgravity on lentil bean growth Grade Level: 6th grade

Team Members: Co-Principal Investigators: Macie Davis, Olivia Earley, Alex Mercer, Ava Monroe, and Itzel Perez-Orozco

 

Top 10 teams in alphabetical order by school:

Hughes, Archaebacteria in microgravity, Teacher Facilitator Sandi Parsons. Co-Principal Investigators: Abhishek Desai, Caiden Lofay, Buck Powell, Ty Holmgren

Kerr, Nylon in microgravity, Teacher Facilitator Allison Buckingham. Co-Principal Investigators: Keira Clotfelter, Jack Dietz, Tommy Gifford, Waylan Kisor

REALM, Fibonacci in microgravity, Teacher Facilitator Lana Sather. Co-Principal Investigators: Addison Davis, Brandon McMillen, Nicole Muturi, Trey Wing

REALM, Flu at ambient temperature in microgravity, Teacher Facilitator Laura Smith. Co-Principal Investigators: Madeline Boatwright, Lindy Harano

REALM, Insulin crystallization in microgravity, Teacher Facilitator Laura Smith, Co-Principal Investigators: John Balian, Alex Ferguson

STEAM, Black Ants in microgravity, Teacher Facilitator Alyssa Sanchez. Co-Principal Investigators: Connor Rice, Zoey Blackmon, Parker Hay, Amelia Guzman, Laurel Henry

STEAM, Carrot in gravity, Teacher Facilitator Molly Marek. Co-Principal Investigators: Morgan Pope, Kennedy Carter, Isabell Zagotti, Landry Killpatrick

STEAM, Earthworms in microgravity, Teacher Facilitator Alyssa Sanchez. Co-Principal Investigators: Ashlyn Johns, Sohan Islam, Carolyne Harvey, John Irons, Sara Gutierrez Cortazar

STEAM, Lentil Beans in microgravity, Teacher Facilitator Alyssa Sanchez. Co-Principal Investigators: Macie Davis, Ava Monroe, Olivia Earley, Alex Mercer, Itzel Perez-Orozco

STEAM @ Stribling, Lady fern logic leaves, Teacher Facilitator Ellen Douglas. Co-Principal Investigators: Grace Halford, Clara Smith. Co-investigators: Madison Kahan, Brady Swaringen

 

For more information on Space Night or SSEP Mission 13, visit https://sites.google.com/bisdmail.net/ssep16-17/home.

SSEP is a U.S. National STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education program that immerses students in every facet of authentic scientific research of their own design, using a highly captivating space flight opportunity on the International Space Station. SSEP Mission 13 to ISS provides a real research mini-laboratory capable of supporting a single microgravity experiment, and all launch services to fly the mini-lab to ISS, and return it safely to Earth for harvesting and analysis. Mirroring how professional research is done, student teams across the community submit research proposals, and go through a formal proposal review process to select the flight experiment. The design competition – from program start, to experiment design, to submission of proposals by student teams – spans 9 weeks.

About Student Spaceflight Experiments Program

The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program [or “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.

 

About National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) creates and oversees
national initiatives addressing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
education, with a focus on Earth and space. Programs are designed to provide an authentic
window on science as a human endeavor. Central objectives of the Center’s programs are to help ensure a scientifically literate public and a next generation of U.S. scientists and engineers – both of which are of national importance in an age of high technology. NCESSE is a project of the Tides Center. To learn more, visit: http://ncesse.org.

About NanoRacks
NanoRacks LLC was formed in 2009 to provide quality hardware and services for the U.S.
National Laboratory onboard the International Space Station. NanoRacks now has two research
platforms onboard the U.S. National Laboratory that can house plug and play payloads using the Cube-Sat form factor. Our current signed customer pipeline of over 50 payloads, including
domestic and international educational institutions, research organizations and government
organizations, has propelled NanoRacks into a leadership position in understanding the emerging commercial market for low-earth orbit utilization.

 

About Burleson ISD

Burleson Independent School District serves more than 12,000 students at 17 schools and is recognized as a premier school district in the Dallas/Fort Worth-area. The mission of Burleson Independent School District is to engage and support every learner with a rigorous curriculum so that they graduate college and career ready.

 

Media Contacts

Mikala Hill or Katelyn Tyler

Burleson ISD Communications

817-245-1131

 

 

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