The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) was launched in June 2010 by theNational Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in strategic partnership with NanoRacks, LLC. It is a remarkable U.S. national Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education initiative that gives typically 300+ students across a participating community the ability to design and propose real experiments to fly in low Earth orbit, aboard the International Space Station.
The program provides seamless integration across STEM disciplines through an authentic, high visibility research experience—an approach that embraces the Next Generation Science Standards. SSEP immerses hundreds of students at the local level in the research experience—students are truly given the ability to be real scientists and engineers.
SSEP is designed to inspire and engage America’s next generation of scientists and engineers, and it is accomplished by providing each participating community their own very real Space Program. (source: http://ssep.ncesse.org/about-ssep/)
SSEP (Student Spaceflight Experiments Program) Mission 11 to International Space Station update: Learners have explored microgravity (what astronauts experience on ISS), experimental design and are earnestly working in small groups to develop and propose an experiment to be conducted in space. This challenging process invites our learners into the world of “real” microgravity experimenters, who also use this same process to get “science time” on ISS with the goal of understanding the impact of microgravity (vs gravity) on their experiment.
The Student Spaceflight Experiment 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.
SSEP Mission 10: Our mission 10 experiment (authored by SCVi Upper School learners Alec Lewis, Kai Turner, Dustin Fields) is scheduled to launch to ISS in February aboard Space X-11.