Springfield Public Schools has participated in the Student Spaceflight Experimentation Program (SSEP) for the last four years. SSEP is a K-12 STEAM program that gets students to propose an experiment to test in microgravity, research relevant information by contacting scientists in related fields, submit a formal proposal, and if chosen, have their experiment fly to the International Space Station where it will be conducted by astronauts before being sent back to Springfield for analysis. The program also calls for students to design a mission patch to accompany the experiment to the ISS. Two mission patches were chosen through two competitions held for grades Pre-K to 5 and grades 6 to 12. These winning designs were also made into physical cloth patches.
The Winning Experiment
This year’s SSEP winning experiment was Triops longicaudatus growth and development in microgravity by 7th graders Ava Fidalgo, Sarah Lumas, Miriam Pereira, and Lakela Whitney (in the photograph from left to right) from Mrs. Alison Gillen's class. The winning group was recognized at the May 13th, 2019 Board of Education Meeting for their efforts. On June 17th, 2019 they will load their experiment into a test tube under the guidance of representatives from NanoRacks, and then the experiment will be sent up to the ISS shortly after.
Mr. Gregory Salmon presents Mrs. Alison Gillen with her certificate in recognition for her efforts with this year’s winning team. Mrs. Gillen has had a team win the district competition for each of the four Missions we have participated in.
The Winning Patches
Art teacher Mr. Leonard Gabriel stands with 8th grader Aspyn Lee and 4th grader Samantha Sainato (in the photograph from left to right) in front of their two winning patch designs.
4th grader Samantha Sainato’s winning patch design
8th grader Aspyn Lee’s winning patch design