A Shoreline student experiment is now scheduled for launch to the International Space Station Oct. 7 from Cape Canaveral, Fla., through the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, http://ssep.ncesse.org (SSEP).
Students Aden Helland, Matthew McMillan, Tuguldur Myagmarsuren, Jack Parkinson and Dylan Probizanski designed an experiment last spring as Highland Terrace Elementary sixth graders with the help of their teacher, Peggy Nordwall, and scientist-mentor Jacqui Rublee, about crystal growth and impurities in microgravity. The boys now attend Einstein Middle School.
Their experiment will study the question if crystals grown in microgravity will pick up impurities. This would be important because of the need to fabricate pure, defect-free single crystals for their use as semi-and superconductors.
The Student Spaceflight Experiment is a national educational program undertaken by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, http://ncesse.org (NCESSE) in partnership with NanoRacks, LLC. Shoreline is one of only 11 districts nationwide to be chosen for this program.
The Spaceflight Program uses a commercial spaceflight payload, which will contain the student experiments, and will be placed aboard ferry vehicles for transfer to the International Space Station. The student experiment flight opportunity is enabled through NanoRacks LLC, which is in partnership with NASA under a formal Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a national laboratory.
Highland Terrace sixth graders and Einstein eighth graders participated in a competition last spring in which they worked in teams to design an experiment that answers the question, "What phenomenon associated with a physical, chemical, or biological system would I like to explore with gravity turned off for a period of time?"
A committee of science professionals from the Shoreline community evaluated the proposals and selected three to be sent to the National Center for Earth and Space Science for the final evaluation where one proposal will be selected. Then the students prepared the winning proposal in the specially designed NanoRack Mini-lab kit and sent it to Houston for launch.
In addition, several middle school and elementary school students designed a flight patch to accompany the experiment in space. Patches designed by Carly Krantz of Highland Terrace and Lauren Cook of Einstein were selected to fly with Mission 2 to the International Space Station this fall.
This experience for these young students and staff and was made possible by the support of the Shoreline Community, including the Shoreline Public Schools Foundation, the Knossos Foundation, the Wong family, Tiia-Mai Redditt, Einstein PTSA and Highland Terrace PTSA.
Parents and community members with expertise in science and research mentored students with their proposals or participated on the evaluation committee. For more information about this learning opportunity please visit the program's website, http://ssep.ncesse.org/
Source: Shoreline School District.