Stamford Public Schools (SPS) announced that Stamford High School (SHS) is one of only 30 schools and science research organizations, out of 11,000 applications nationwide, selected to participate in the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) Mission 12 to the International Space Station (ISS). As part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), SHS students will have the opportunity to send one microgravity experiment to the ISS in the spring of 2018.
“SSEP is designed to empower the student as scientist, and within the real-world context of science,” said Dr. Jeff Goldstein, creator of SSEP and NCESSE Center Director. “Student teams design a real experiment, propose for a real flight opportunity, experience a formal proposal review and go through a NASA flight safety review.”
This past June, SSEP notified SHS that they were among those schools selected for the SSEP. However in order to participate, each selected school or organization needed to raise $24,000 to fund the experiment.
“We are so excited to be among those selected to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime learning experience,” said Sue Dougherty SHS Special Education teacher and community program director for the Mission 12 to the ISS. “Thanks to generous grants from the NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium at the University of Hartford, People’s United Bank, The Fairfield County Community Foundation and Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, SHS met its initial goal by the August 28 deadline.”
According to Dougherty, all SHS students will have the opportunity to form teams and propose an experiment for consideration. In the first week of December, the school will choose three finalists to submit to NASA for final selection. The selected experiment will be included on a SpaceX rocket to the ISS.
“Participants even have their own science conference at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, where they are immersed in their own community of researchers,” said Goldstein. “SSEP is about introducing real science to our students and if you give them a chance to be scientists, stand back and be amazed.”
SHS will continue its fundraising efforts in order to send students to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to present their experiment to visitors at Johnson Space Center during the launch. Interested donors should contact Sue Dougherty firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the science competition, SHS will also conduct two art competitions for designing a Mission patch to be worn by the astronauts on Mission 12. Details of the art competition are being developed.