A New U.S. National STEM Initiative for Grades 5-12
to inspire the next generation
of spaceflight engineers and space scientists

This is a Time-Critical Opportunity
Student Experiments on STS-134, Space Shuttle Endeavour

June 7, 2010—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 through a school district-wide experiment design competition, 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.

June 13, 2010: There is now an option for single school participation.

Phase 1 of the program is a unique and historic opportunity for students 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 experiments opportunity.

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 science competition that is meant to result in spaceflight experiments designed and owned by the students—the Flight Experiment Design Competition, 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) education.

To our children, who are America’s future in the 21st century—
be part of history … by making history.

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. CLICK HERE

SSEP is undertaken by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), a project of the 501(c)(3) Tides Center, in partnership with American Aerospace Advisors Inc. (AAAI). The STS-134 flight opportunity uses the AAAI CREST-1 (Commercial Reusable Experiments for Science & Technology) routine access-to-space payload.

The on-orbit research opportunity was 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.

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9 Responses to “NCESSE launches 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”

  1. Catalina Reyero says:

    This seems very interesting. My only problem is the Time line since we do not start school till the end of August. Another problem I can see is the amount of money.

    • Hi Catalina-

      Starting school at the end of August still works. It is a straightforward experimental apparatus. And see the Critical Timeline on the How to Participate Page at the SSEP website: http://ssep.ncesse.org Funding should not be an issue right now given we (NCESSE) can RAPIDLY assist your district in identifying potential local funders, and help write any proposal. But we’d need to get on this NOW.


  2. Jeff, I am the science specialist for Scottsdale School District in AZ. I’m very interested in this opportunity. What do I need to do to involve my district?
    Thank you, Janey

    • Janey, would love to bring SSEP to Scottsdale. I was at Challenger Center HQ for 8 years, and visited the Learning Center in Peoria a few times.

      Let’s talk:) My cell: 301-395-0770

      Jeff Goldtein,
      NCESSE Center Director

  3. angie says:

    Are you only considering school districts or would you consider non profit STEM programs (summer/afterschool camps)?

    • Yes, we would most definitely consider other groups as the driver in a community. This program needs to be flexible enough to map onto a community’s unique needs, assets, and organizational leaders. Contact us and we can walk through it together:)

  4. Maria Catalina says:

    Our district is made up of only middle school and high school. I have a program called Space Port Academy and the students are very excited about proposing an experiment. We have done community events before (Family Science Night and Star Parties. How do we get started with this unique and outstanding opportunity?

    Maria Catalina
    The Astronaut Teacher Alliance (TATA)

  5. Suzi Mast says:

    The Kyrene School District would be interested in participation. We have 6 middle schools that would love additional information