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SSEP - Students Design for International Space Station

​December 14, 2022

Kerr Middle School's “Can a cotton ball instead of soil germinate a lavender seed in microgravity?" team has been named the flight team for the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Mission 17 to the International Space Station (ISS). 

The team includes co-principal investigators Abigail Bain, Jack Crow, Lyla Meek, and Addison White, and teacher facilitator Terry Briggs.

December 1, 2022

Congratulations to the SSEP Mission 17 finalist teams and patch design contest winners.

Finalist Teams

Game Development and Design School - "Do antibiotics work in space?" 

  • Teacher Facilitator:  Jeremy Beckwith
  • Student Co-principal Investigators: Nathaniel Bowers, Hayden Gandhi, Matthew Godwin &  
    Oliver Heuszel

STEAM Middle School - “What is the effect of microgravity on Bifidobacterium longum?"

  • Teacher Facilitator: Alesha Youngs
  • Student Co-principal Investigators: Alexis Jackson, Brynna Bassett, Cabrie Barron & Peyson Eades

Kerr Middle School - “Can a cotton ball instead of soil germinate a lavender seed in microgravity?"

  • Teacher: Terry Briggs
  • Student Co-principal Investigators: Abigail Bain, Jack Crow, Lyla Meek & Addison White

Mission Patch Design Contest Winners: 

The Mission Patch Design Contest winners are Anna Jansen from Hajek Elementary and Cooper Womack from Centennial High School.


Mission 17 Space Challenge: Burleson ISD students’ microgravity research, engineering projects prepare for liftoff


The scientists of tomorrow are in Burleson Independent School District (BISD) classrooms now and soon will find out if their big ideas could take flight on a rocket into space. Students’ experiments could help lead to discoveries aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on how microgravity affects the human body, causes chemical reactions, and more.


Burleson ISD students have for the last nine years had a design selected for testing by astronauts launched to the ISS. The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) space challenge requires professional research and engineering processes with student teams across BISD submitting research proposals, testing their designs, and submitting formal proposals of final designs to review committees.

Students will showcase their microgravity experiment designs for judges, including professional engineers, college professors, and other scientists who will choose the top three projects to advance to the SSEP National Step 2 Review Board for possible selection for the SSEP Mission 17 to the ISS.

WHAT:             Space Night

WHEN:            Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 

WHERE:          Burleson High School, 100 Elk Dr., Burleson, TX


  • 300 Burleson ISD students who accepted the SSEP Mission 17 Space Challenge

  • Professional engineers and scientist judges, including Texas Christian University professors

  • Monnig Meteorite Gallery will have a meteorite exhibit 

  • Fort Worth Astronomical Society will bring telescopes for stargazing

  • TCU astrophysicist and rocket scientist Dr. Kat Barger will have a special presentation and rocket display

  • Hundreds of students and parents enjoying hands-on space activities, mission patch design voting,  space-themed refreshments, and more. 


Expedite visitor check-in by completing the pre-registration form (by November 1) to be screened through the Raptor system: click here to pre-register

Guests who pre-register must show their IDs to pick up their pre-registration pass at the BHS south entrance. Guests who do not pre-register may experience longer wait times as their information must be scanned into our system at the event. 

Please note: All guests must bring a valid driver’s license or Texas identification card to enter the building. 


“The ingenuity of students in this space challenge could help solve problems in ways we never thought possible. We get to see the beginnings of these promising discoveries from up-and-coming scientists in our own community,” Superintendent Dr. Bret Jimerson said. 

Nearly 300 Burleson ISD students are participating in the SSEP program, which also commissions elementary and secondary students to design mission patches to accompany BISD's experiment to the ISS.

About Student Spaceflight Experiments Program

The Student Space Flight Experiments Program [or just “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, which is 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 division of the 501(c)(3) Tides Center.