The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum as seen from the National Mall in Washington, DC.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM), the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education are proud to host the 2013 SSEP National Conference at the Museum on July 2 and 3, 2013.

All students and student teams that were engaged in SSEP experiment design and proposal writing—across all six SSEP flight opportunities to date (SSEP on STS-134 and STS-135, and Missions 1, 2, 3 and 4 to ISS)—are wholeheartedly invited to attend their conference with their teachers and school administrators, and their families.

An invitation is also warmly extended to representatives of the over 300 partnering organizations, including underwriting institutions, and research institutions whose researchers have been engaged as expert advisors and as members of Step 1 Proposal Review Boards, and to members of the SSEP Step 2 Review Boards.

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The conference provides a formal gathering place where students present on their experiment designs, and those teams that flew experiments report results. We want to immerse students in the experience of a real science conference. It is fitting. If the SSEP is dedicated to letting students step into the shoes of scientists and engineers, then a conference should be part of the experience.

The SSEP National Conference is taking place in the most visited museum on the planet, and in the new Moving Beyond Earth gallery. A section of the gallery will remain open to the public so that the conference can be part of the public visitorship experience. This is a truly remarkable once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for attendees.

The conference is scheduled immediately before July 4th in the nation’s capital, so that attendees can stay on and watch the 4th of July fireworks on the National Mall.

On February 15, 2013, NCESSE alerted SSEP Community Program Directors across all 60 SSEP communities that the 2013 conference was approved by the Museum, and requested preliminary interest, and projected attendance, from communities sending delegations.

As of March 24, 2013, the following 13 SSEP communities are currently planning to send delegations to the 2013 Conference, with preliminary total attendance of 152, and a combined 14 oral presentations by student experiment teams:

Teachers in Space, Space Frontier Foundation, U.S. National Distributed Community
San Marino, California
West Hills, California
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Hartford, Connecticut
Washington, DC
Hilo, Hawaii
Cicero, Illinois
Fitchburg, Massachusetts
Warren, Michigan
North Charleston, South Carolina
Pharr, Texas
Russell County, Virginia

The following 3 SSEP communities are exploring participation:
Valley Center, Kansas
New York City, New York
Willis, Texas

IMPORTANT NOTE: SSEP students, their teachers, their families, and representatives of SSEP partner organizations interested in attending the 2013 Conference, and who are not already part of attending delegations listed above, should contact NCESSE as soon as possible.  Only registered attendees can participate in the conference. Additional communities and attendees will be accepted on a first come first served basis, as conference space remains available.

NCESSE has just created the 2013 SSEP National Conference page, which provides an overview of the conference, expectations for presentations, agenda, descriptions of presentations, and hotel information. All interested in attending the conference are directed to the page.

Jump to the 2013 SSEP National Conference page


The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with NanoRacks LLC, working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.  The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and Subaru of America are National Partners on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.

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