I know how busy the end of the school year is BUT this is an opportunity for students in grades
5-12 and their community members to propose experiments to flight in low Earth orbit on the
final flight of the Space Shuttle, STS-134. Read the information about this initiative and reach
out to your communities to develop an experiment and raise awareness about STEM. – Anita
On Final Flight of the Space Shuttle: A Remarkable Grade 5-12
Opportunity for Student Experiments
The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE; http://ncesse.org) has
just launched the Student Space Flight Experiments Program (SSEP), a truly remarkable new
U.S. national STEM initiative for grade 5-12 students.
Students across entire school districts will have the opportunity to propose experiments, just like
professional scientists and engineers, to fly on the final flight of the Space Shuttle, STS-134.
The initiative is meant to inspire the next generation of America's engineers and scientists, and
to engage entire communities with programming for students, teachers, and families, which is
tuned to a school district’s strategic needs in STEM education.
We recognize that this is likely the worst time to announce a systemic education program like
this, with schools on summer break. We just received word from NASA that the payload to carry
student experiments is now officially on the flight of STS-134, and we did not want to announce
until we received confirmation.
This opportunity is for entire school districts, not individual schools or classes. The decision to
participate and implement would be made at the district level, with science and STEM
leadership as likely champions. These staffers are likely at work through the summer. It is also
possible that teachers in STEM disciplines, or principals, could effectively champion this
opportunity in their school district.
This is a VERY TIME-CRITICAL and HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY, where school districts would
need to jump in and assess the opportunity THIS MONTH (June 2010).
I would therefore be grateful for any help you can provide in disseminating this opportunity,
through any means, to school district central offices, science departments, principals, and to
science and STEM teachers.
The link to the program is: http://ncesse.org/2010/06/ssep/.
I have also provided the full text description below if you would like to send it out electronically.
We can also quickly provide a program description whose length is tailored to the distribution
pathways you might use. If you need us to rework the description, please let me know at
email@example.com and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
I would also be very grateful if you could let me know if (and how) you might be able to distribute
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
Full Text Description of Student Spaceflight Experiments Program:
On Final Flight of the Space Shuttle: A Remarkable Grade 5-12 Opportunity for Student
June 7 - The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE;
http://ncesse.org) has just launched the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), a
historic opportunity for students to propose experiments for the final scheduled flight of the
Space Shuttle, STS-134.
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) provides middle and high school classes
across the U.S. the ability to propose experiments to fly in low Earth orbit, and to celebrate that
accomplishment with their local community and with national and global audiences. Entire
school districts can participate, with student teams proposing experiments like professional
scientists and engineers.
Phase 1 of the program is a unique and historic opportunity to propose an experiment to fly
aboard STS-134, the final scheduled flight of the Space Shuttle. Selected student experiments
would fly for 10 days aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour. Launch is tentatively scheduled for
November 2010, but a launch slip to mid-January is expected, enabling this student spaceflight
We want the final voyage of the Space Shuttle to also mark a new beginning for private sector
sponsored student experiments in space, which organizations on the SSEP Team have
pioneered. The flight of Endeavour will be used as a gateway to Phase 2 of the SSEP ‹
sustainable, ongoing access to space for grade 5-12 students inspired to propose experiments
for low Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station (with transport via the Russian
Progress and Soyuz vehicles), and on suborbital space flights.
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) will immerse students across a local
community in an exciting, high profile scientific investigation that is designed and owned by the
students - the Flight Experiment Opportunity - and leverage the excitement by wrapping
powerful, community-wide science education programming around the experience – the
Community Program. It is about engaging students, their teachers, and their families in science
education, with a focus on the process of inquiry, and in a manner that is customized to a school
district's strategic needs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)
To our children, who are America's future in the 21st century - be part of history, by making
To schools and school districts committed to STEM education - together we can help your
students step into the shoes of scientists and engineers - right now.
Visit the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program Website for full details about this time-critical
program opportunity, and a call to action in your community.
SSEP is undertaken by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE),
in partnership with American Aerospace Advisors Inc. (AAAI).