Student Spaceflight Experiments Program
What is the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP)?
This program is designed to teach students how to become professional scientists by having them undertake an authentic research project. Students compete in a competition to design an experiment that tests the effects of microgravity (weightlessness) on a physical, chemical, or biological system.
The teams of undergraduates produced approximately 10 experimental proposals which were judged by the Stockton review panel last fall. Three finalist were selected and submitted to the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) for final selection. The winning experiment will be flown to the International Space Station to be completed by astronauts!
What is the Impact?
The SSEP program provides faculty-mentored student research at the undergraduate level. Students used the principles of the scientific method to address a real world scientific problem. Through participation of this program, our students are expanding the frontiers of Microgravity research. They are also developing soft skills that are necessary for success in future employment, such as how to effectively communicate science to other scientists in a formal review process, as well as learn to communicate our scientific findings to the community at large.
How Will Your Donation Contribute?
The experiment, "Spores in Space: The Effects of Microgravity on Endomycorrhizae", designed by students Danielle Ertz and Valkyrie Falciani with faculty mentor Dr. Tara Luke, Associate Professor of Biology, was chosen by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) as the winning experiment that will be flown to the International Space Station to be completed by astronauts!
"Spores in Space" will be launched aboard SpaceX-12 to the International Space Station in August. Our next step is to raise funds that will allow our students to attend the launch, as well as to present the results of the experiment at the SSEP National Conference at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. in the early fall.
We are excited to see what discoveries will be revealed from our experiment, but in order to further the scientific process, we need your help! Each and every donation will help.
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.