TIS Newsletter 2012 #4

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 outreach@foresight.org or Desiree Dudley, Director of Program Development and Outreach, at desiree@foresight.org, 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

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