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Moreno Valley Unified selected to send project to International Space Station

Moreno Valley Unified School District (MVUSD) was one of just 41 school districts nationwide to be accepted for the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP), Mission 12, to the International Space Station. The program is sponsored through the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education.

The opportunity will provide MVUSD students in grades 6-12 the opportunity to participate in a nine-week Microgravity Experiment Design for flight to the International Space Station (ISS). The SSEP Mission 12 to the International Space Station will provide students with a real microgravity research mini-laboratory capable of supporting a single microgravity experiment, and all launch services to fly the mini-lab to the ISS in low-earth orbit in Spring 2018. The experiment will then be returned to earth for student retrieval and analysis.

“The Student SpaceFlight Experiments Program will require students to be immersed in STEAM project based learning via an authentic research experience with seamless integration across STEAM disciplines and cross-disciplinary connections to reading, writing, communication, art and design,” said Deepika Srivastava, a district STEAM Professional Development Specialist.

The projects will mirror how professional research is done. Student teams across the district will design their own microgravity research programs and submit real, but grade-level appropriate, research hypothesis. Proposals from MVUSD will go through a formal review process, with one MVUSD project selected to fly to the ISS by a National Review Board at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., a National Partner on SSEP.

The design and proposal writing phase will occur this fall, with experiment selection happening in December. The expected launch date of the district’s experiment is in the Spring of 2018.

“The learning that will take place in our science classrooms as part of this program is sure to challenge our students, but also get them excited and interested in a career in science. The reward of seeing a Moreno Valley Unified School District project travel to space is going to be an awe-inspiring moment,” said Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora.