The Teachers In Space project, to fund a student experiment on the International Space Station, has been selected as a winning proposal for the Popular Science and RocketHub #CrowdGrant Challenge! Winning submissions attempt to make the world a better place (the current experiment is researching ALS) while embodying the innovative spirit Popular Science and Rockethub value. Check out the exciting campaign and get some goodies for yourself at the RocketHub site. You can also see the great incentives we’ve put together here.
SSEP International Space Station Experiment Contest Winner
This year, Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) invited student groups working under the direction of the 25 teachers who successfully completed the July 2012 TIS Flight Experiments Workshop to compete in an experiment design competition. We first reported on this competition in the September 2012 TIS newsletter. Of the many entries submitted, TIS judges chose three finalists:
Experiment: Storage of Hydrogen in Carbon Nanotubes in Space
Teacher Facilitator: Charles Brucker
School: Mission San Jose High School, CA
Experiment: The Effect of Microgravity on the Spontaneous Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic STEM Cells
Teacher Facilitator: Enrique Chee
School: Bainbridge High School, WA
Experiment: A Study of How Microgravity Affects the Activity of Enzymes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Using the Model of Papain and Gelatin
Teacher Facilitator: Amy McCormick
School: West Shore Junior/Senior High School, FL
SSEP judges reviewed the entries, and selected a winner to fly to the International Space Station in 2013. Congratulations to the team of West Shore Junior/Senior High School of Florida! We look forward to following your experiment’s progress in space!
Our thanks to Rachel Manzer for coordinating this contest and to the panel of TIS judges who completed the first round of entry reviews, and a round of applause to everyone who participated in this competition.
Teachers in Space is collaborating with Student Spaceflights Experiments Program to offer this contest. The Student Space Flight Experiments Program [or just "SSEP"](http://ssep.ncesse.org) is undertaken by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE; http://ncesse.org) in partnership with Nanoracks, LLC. This on-orbit educational research opportunity is enabled through NanoRacks, LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.
Foresight Program Book Give-away and 2013 Essay Contest
Teachers In Space is delighted to announce a special new STEM youth outreach program led by the Foresight Institute! This year Foresight is targeting top science, engineering, and entrepreneurially-oriented college clubs, STEM high schools, and gifted youth programs in the nation and sending out 300 sets of inspiring books on emerging technologies, including Peter Diamandis’ Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think (XPrize), Tom Wujec’s Imagine Design Create (AutoDesk), a special K12 Nanoscience Resource book for teachers, and more.
Students will be encouraged to enter Foresight’s 2013 essay contest, which will incentivize students to read, reflect on themes, and connect with world-class scientific communities.
Resources and materials in the boxes will also include information partner organizations such as Teachers in Space, SENS Foundation, Humanity+, and the Thiel Foundation’s 20Under20 program.
Apply today to nominate your classroom, school, or club for Foresight’s STEM outreach program! Go to: http://foresight.org/outreach and click “Teachers and Clubs Apply”
For further information about the program, contact Paul Grasshoff, Outreach Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Desiree Dudley, Director of Program Development and Outreach, at email@example.com, or call 510-759-5908.
TIS Summer 2013 Workshop Early Details and Dates
TIS will offer another Space Medicine workshop in June 2013. The workshop will run from June 24 – 28, 2013, at Embry-Riddle University, Daytona Beach, FL. Chantelle Rose and Jason Kring continue as the leads on this workshop.
TIS will offer another Flight Experiments Workshop in July 2013. Details are still being finalized, but the workshop will run either the week of July 14, 2013 or the week of July 21, 2013. The preferred location is the Aero Institute in Palmdale, CA.
When the application process opens for these upcoming workshops, we will make an announcement via the TIS Newsletter. We will also post applications and further information on the TiS website.
TIS 2012 Balloon Launch Data Analysis Progress and More
TIS’s July 2012 Flight Experiments Workshop culminated in a balloon launch under the command of Luther Richardson of the Columbus Space Program and Ron Meadows of the California Near Space Project. The balloon rose into the upper atmosphere enabling its attached camera to photograph the curve of Earth against the darkness of space, while the sensors it carried recorded over 15 million data points on velocity, altitude, temperature, and other information pertaining to the balloon’s flight and surrounding environment.
Richardson is currently working with a team of students in a Systems Engineering graduate class at Georgia Tech to analyze the performance of the sensors including error terms. In Richardson’s words, “This means we will have a nice evaluation of pressure, temperature, relative humidity, acceleration, and magnetic field. I know we want to add a Geiger counter. The end result could be a guide that includes a 2-3 pages per sensor about taking the data from raw counts in a file to real measured quantities with known units ready to plot in Excel.” The proposed guide, when complete, will be “a teacher-friendly guide to quantitative data analysis from a near-space mission” focusing on the technical aspect of the “value of the data analysis of the sensors”.
Mike Schmidt has gained support at University of Arizona for his balloon launch program and retains the support and mentorship of data sensor providers Raytheon. Jim Kuhl is working on funding for his balloon program and continues to champion the cause of the 2011 Flight Experiments Workshop attendees who have yet to launch their experiments. Kuhl will follow up with NASA Ames which previously expressed a desire to deliver TIS’s promise of an experiment launch for that group.
Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut Student-and-Teacher Activities
Mission X, an initiative of the European Space Agency, is an international educational challenge focusing on fitness and nutrition that encourages students to “train like an astronaut.” Teams of elementary students will learn principles of healthy eating and exercise, compete for points by finishing training modules, and get excited about the world’s future in space and the educational possibilities for their own future. Students will practice scientific reasoning and teamwork while participating in hands-on training missions targeting strength, endurance, coordination, balance, spatial awareness, and more.
For Mission X activities, student and teacher handouts, and more, visit:http://trainlikeanastronaut.org/mission-data
2012 Surveys Due If you attended one of our 2012 summer workshops, please take 5 minutes to complete NASA’s
Educator Long Term End of Event Survey
Submission deadline is end of day Monday, August 20, 2012.
Your feedback is essential to help NASA determine our eligibility for future funding.
Book Giveaway for Students Foresight Youth Outreach 2012 Essay Contest & Literature Program
This August, the Foresight Institute is targeting top science, engineering, and entrepreneurially-oriented college clubs, STEM high schools, and gifted youth programs in the nation and sending out 300 sets of inspiring books on emerging technologies, including Peter Diamandis’ Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think (XPrize), Tom Wujec’s Imagine Design Create (AutoDesk), a special K12 Nanoscience Resource book for teachers, and more!
Students will be encouraged to enter Foresight’s fall 2012 essay contest, which will incentivize students to read, reflect on themes, and connect with world-class scientific communities. Resources and materials in the giveaways will also include information partner organizations such as Teachers in Space, SENS Foundation, Humanity+, and the Thiel Foundation’s 20Under20 program.
For further information, contact Outreach Coordinator Paul Grasshoff (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Desiree Dudley, Director of Program Development & Outreach (email@example.com) or call 650-289-0860 x259.
2012 Space Medicine Workshop 24 teachers from across the United States gathered at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University last month for a TiS Space Medicine & Human Factors week-long workshop. During the program, the participants gained content knowledge in commercial spaceflight, human factors, the space environment, solar weather, space sickness and fatigue, and additional topics.
Ivon Suarez, mathematics teacher at Miami Lakes Educational Center High School in Miami, Florida said, “I went to the workshop with a regular-sized bag of clothes. When I returned home, I had an infinite-sized bag full of a new universe of ideas to implement in the classroom.” Anna Robles, science teacher at St. John’s Military School in Salina, Kansas noted, “One of the reasons I enjoyed this workshop so much was because the instructors were very passionate and excited about what they do. with any luck we as teachers take that passion and excitement back to the classroom to share with our students.”
Hands-on training experiences for the participants included a high-altitude normobaric chamber and GAT spatial disorientation training. The participants then used their new knowledge and experiences to complete a design challenge; working collaboratively to design a human mission to Mars. Essential space medicine and human factors were incorporated into futuristic and creative solutions to the project. The design challenge and content from the workshop will be taken back to classrooms across the United States this autumn to engage students in the commercial spaceflight movement and the rigors of STEM education.
2013: NASA Grant Extended Teachers in Space has received a one-year extension of our NASA Educational Grant, enabling us to continue the work we began with our 2011-2012 Professional Development Workshops for US High School STEM teachers, including:
1. Analysis and publication of data gathered during Flight Experiments Workshop hydrogen balloon launch
2. Flight experiment to ISS in collaboration with Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP)
3. Suborbital experiment launch with Masten Aerospace, possibly including some experiments from our 2011 workshop
4. Complete surveys, evaluations and analysis of this year’s summer workshops
5. Begin curriculum development using exercises and experiments developed for our workshops
Teachers in Space at NewSpace 2012 The Space Frontier Foundation’s NewSpace 2012 conference attracted over 500 participants from the commercial, government, and investment communities. Bill Nye joined Teachers in Space project manager Elizabeth Kennick as a panelist on the SpaceX sponsored STEM Education Panel, which sparked conversations about how to bring the future generation to lead the NewSpace industry. 30 teachers and team members of TIS’ Flight Experiments Workshop, held concurrently at NASA Ames, were in the audience and contributed insightful questions and comments to the panel discussion. TIS looks forward to future collaboration with Bill and the Planetary Society, of which he is now CEO.
Watch the panel video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt90YT4cMxo&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Next Month’s Newsletter Will include details on the recent Flight Experiments Workshop (and how to analyze the data collected), upcoming volunteer opportunities, and more!
2013 NASA Space Settlement Design Contest
This contest is open to ALL students in grades 12 and under! Individuals and teams of two or more students are challenged to create a detailed design for a space settlement. Space settlements are permanent communities in orbit, as opposed to being on the moon or other planets. Designing a space settlement involves physics, mathematics, space science, environmental science and many other disciplines. Students may include original research, drawings, artwork, actual models or pictures of their models in support of their design. There is no minimum or maximum length for written entries.The NASA Space Settlement Design Contest is intended for students in grades 6-12, although younger students may enter. Grade levels are judged separately, except for the grand prize. All participants will receive a certificate. The grand prize entry will be displayed on the NASA Ames website. The highest-scoring entry will receive the NSS Bruce M. Clark, Jr. Memorial Space Settlement Award in the amount of $5,000. Submissions (hard copies only; no electronic/ data file submissions) must be received by March 15, 2013. Teachers using the contest in their classes should submit all projects together. Entry forms are available here: http://settlement.arc.nasa.gov/Contest/entform.html.
For detailed information about the NASA Space Settlement Design Contest, including curriculum ideas, contest rules, submission guidelines and instructions, resources, and previous winning entries, visit http://settlement.arc.nasa.gov/Contest.
Space Florida International Space Station Research Contest
Space Florida and NanoRacks, LLC are accepting entries for this competition until October 31, 2012. If you have been holding onto a idea for an experiment, now’s the time to send it in! As part of this program, NanoRacks will provide up to eight Payload Box Units (NanoLabs) that will fly payloads to the ISS, with scientific research that will be conducted on board the U.S. National Lab. Space Florida will cover the costs of research payload transportation to the ISS for the eight winning applicants.
The Space Florida ISS Research Competition is designed to inspire innovation and enable unique research opportunities and access for customers to the ISS. Breakthroughs in material and life sciences, environmental monitoring, complex drugs and other consumer items enabled by space-based research benefit a broad range of emerging markets for government, commercial and academic customers. Research proposals will be reviewed and judged by an independent and scientifically qualified team, based on commercial viability and overall benefit to mankind. For detailed information about the Space Florida International Space Station (ISS) Research Competition, including contest rules, resources, submission guidelines and instructions, visit www.spaceflorida.gov/iss-research-competition.
Teachers in Space Volunteer Opportunities
Teachers in Space is a non-profit organization that depends on enthusiastic and reliable volunteer support. At this time, we are seeking volunteers to help in the following areas: curriculum development, taking minutes during monthly TiS team meetings, managing the budget for TiS projects, and writing/researching for the TiS newsletter. If you would like to help (and can dedicate at least 1-2 hours per week to TiS), please submit your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the task for which you are volunteering in your subject line.
NASA 120 Day Survey
Everyone who participated in a TiS workshop this summer should have received a follow-up survey from NASA. These short 10-question surveys must be completed and submitted by the end of this month. If you have not yet received your survey, click the link above to submit your thoughts and experiences to NASA. These surveys are vital to the grant funding process – without them we will not be able to continue offering NASA-funded workshops to teachers like you!
Next Month’s Newsletter
Early details on the TiS summer 2013 workshops, our new website, and more!
International Space Station Experiment Contest
Students working with the teachers of the TiS 2012 Flight Experiments Workshop will compete to send a student -designed and -created experiment to the ISS
Teachers in Space and Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) are proud to announce a Student Design Competition for Mission 3, with the winning entry securing a launch date to the International Space Station in the spring of 2013. This is a competition open to student groups working under the direction of the 25 teachers who successfully completed the July 2012 Flight Experiments Workshop provided by TiS.
If you are a teacher who participated in the TiS 2012 Flight Experiments Workshop, this is how you move forward. The participating students will generate their own competitive proposals under the guidance of their Teacher Facilitator, including aproposal summary, question(s) to be answered by the investigation, experiment design, experiment materials and any special handling concerns, and background research.
A review panel appointed by the Space Frontier Foundation will evaluate the proposals generated by the TiS-eligible teams. Proposals which do not meet the SSEP requirements will be eliminated from the competition during this evaluation process. The review panel will then select three proposals to advance as finalists. The three proposals which advance to the final round of competition in December 2012 will be judged by a research team at SSEP, and the winner of that round of judging will be awarded a launch date for 2013.
Teachers in Space is collaborating with Student Spaceflights Experiments Program to offer this contest. The Student Space Flight Experiments Program [or just "SSEP"] (http://ssep.ncesse.org) is undertaken by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE; http://ncesse.org) in partnership with Nanoracks, LLC. This on-orbit educational research opportunity is enabled through NanoRacks, LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.
July 2012 Flight Experiments Workshop Recap
TIS’s Flight Experiments Workshop ran July 23-27, 2012 at NASA’s Ames research center. Twenty-five teachers from across the United States learned about research being conducted in space today, as well as the commercial companies and other organizations which are making that research possible. In addition, the teachers conducted their own experiments in Earth’s stratosphere by building and preparing data sensors for actual flights on a zeppelin and a hydrogen-filled weather balloon under the guidance of Luther Richardson of the Columbus Space Program.
Jim Dunstan and Steve Bress of Celestial Circuits presented some plans for software which will help researchers gather data from experiments onboard the ISS (International Space Station). Unlike Earth-based experiments, space experiments are rarely returned to their creators for analysis. Instead, data must be collected, recorded, and relayed from space. Dunstan and Bress also worked with the teachers to explore and help define the types of data that researchers on Earth might need ISS astronauts to collect and transmit back to them.
Dr. Jeff Goldstein of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) visited the workshop to discuss the types of experiments which students could design for launch and installation aboard the ISS. A competition open to select students is currently underway, and the winning team’s entry will be launched to the ISS next year. (See the previous article in this month’s newsletter for extensive details.)
Lynn Harper of Space Portal led the 25 teachers in the workshop launch team through a NASA Flight Readiness Review (FRR). The team produced and examined the required documents and procedures including flight path predictions updated every three hours to incorporate wind shifts, Go / No-Go protocol and decision points, and a backup plan in case of a scrubbed launch. The team tested all equipment including the parachute and associated PVC system at the First Robotics lab.
The balloon launch occurred at 8:40 PDT Friday 27 July 2012 under the command of Richardson and Ron Meadows of the California Near Space Project. The balloon rose into the upper atmosphere enabling its attached camera to photograph the curve of Earth against the darkness of space, while the sensors recorded over 15 million data points on velocity, altitude, temperature, and other information pertaining to the balloon’s flight and surrounding environment. The balloon flight occurred just before a solar flare, and might have collected some data of potential value to scientists studying solar flares. At high altitude the balloon burst and its payload parachuted back to Earth, where its GPS signaled its landing location for recovery.
Richardson is currently creating a tutorial on how to decipher the raw counts into real units, but was willing to share some pictures and raw data with us.
Space Math @ NASA
Get your students involved with Space Math problem books for grades 4 and up. These documents are full-color, and contain additional explanatory materials about the content and how the topics align with national mathematics and science standards identified by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematicsand the National Science Teachers Association. Enjoy!
NASA 120 Day Survey
Everyone who participated in a TiS workshop this summer should have received afollow-up survey from NASA. These short 10-question surveys must be completed and submitted by mid-October. If you have not yet received your survey, click the link above to submit your thoughts and experiences to NASA. These surveys are vital to the grant funding process – without them we will not be able to continue offering NASA-funded workshops to teachers like you!
Next Month’s Newsletter
Will include details on a student mission-patch design competition, a program in development which may offer students the opportunity to launch weather balloon experiments and work with the data collected, and more!