Sixth graders at Nimitz MS chosen to send experiment to space

Published: Dec. 18, 2018 at 2:18 PM CST
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The following comes from Ector County ISD:

Sixth graders at Nimitz Middle School are working on a novel treatment for cancer…in space.

The student researcher proposal, Activation of Clostridium Sporogenes, a novel cancer treatment in Microgravity, will study how well the bacteria, Clostridium sporogenes, activates in a microgravity environment. The results of this research could potentially assist in cancer treatments for astronauts if they become exposed to radiation in space.

Upon passing the flight safety review, their experiment will be conducted by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station next summer. Nimitz was one of three ECISD finalists in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP). The other two finalists were from OCTECHS and Falcon Early College High School. All three groups have the opportunity to attend the SSEP National Conference next summer in Washington, D.C., which is hosted by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE).

Students will be able to present their experiment designs and attend featured presentations by nationally recognized scientists, engineers and astronauts. If you would like to assist any of these schools get to Washington, D.C., donations are welcome.

The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is an opportunity brought by ECISD’s Innovation Department’s program, PICK Education, which serves to bring real-world experiences into the classroom, make learning tangible and promote student ownership in their education. SSEP is designed as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education initiative, and gives students the opportunity to become researchers where they are able to design and propose real microgravity experiments to be conducted by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. SSEP had 38 communities participating in the competition, across three countries; U.S., Canada and Brazil.

Funding was provided by a grant from the Texas Space Grant Consortium, Subaru of America, Inc., Chevron and Education Foundation of Odessa. A special thank you to these individuals for supporting our students in the process—from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Dr. Natalia Schlabritz-Lutsevich, Dr. Kushal Gandhi, Dr. Seheung Lee and Aneesh Bapodra. ECISD Volunteer in Public Schools, Mike Schlueter.

The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program [or 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 DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.