• Mission 14 Patch Design Chosen

    Congratulations to Kelsi Reyes from Bates Middle School for designing this year’s winning patch as part of the Mission 14 program.  Kelsi’s patch was chosen from student submissions at each of the participating middle schools in the Mission 14 program (Annapolis, Bates, Lindale, Central, Meade, and Brooklyn Park).  The goal of the design is to represent the best of the Mission 14 program, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, and the state of Maryland.  The chosen patch design was submitted to the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP) where it will be turned from a design into a physical patch.  The patch will fly with the AACPS Mission 14 student experiment from Central Middle School to the International Space Station.  The Mission 14 flight is tentatively scheduled for October 30, 2020.  Thank you to all of the students who submitted patch designs to both the school and county review boards.


    The competition to select Two Official Mission Patches to represent SSEP Mission 14 is ongoing. Voting will close next Monday, September 28, 2020 at 3 pm ET.

    Use the link below to vote for Kelsi's Patch Design!



    AACPS Winning Patch Design AACPS Patch Design Winner

Congratulations to all of our 2019 Mission 14 participants!

  • AACPS is yet again among the contenders of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Mission 14 to the International Space Station (ISS). SSEP is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), and its international arm, the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education. This year there were 29,300 participating students across 33 communities in the U.S., Canada and Brazil. Way to go AACPS students and teachers!

    Approximately 2,260 students from selected schools participated in our Flight Experiment Design competition in Fall 2019. Participating schools this year included Annapolis Middle School, Wiley H. Bates Middle School, Brooklyn Park Middle School, Central Middle School, Lindale Middle School, Meade Middle School, North County High School, and Northeast High School.

    The students, with teacher guidance, explored the cause and characteristics of a microgravity (weightlessness) environment through the lens of the essential question: What physical, chemical, or biological system would I like to explore with gravity seemingly turned off for a period of time, as a means of assessing the role of gravity in that system?

    Student teams created and submitted a formal “microgravity research” Implementation Plan. Of the 40 proposed experiments, the top 3 were selected (see below) for national level competition. The SSEP National Step 2 Review Board (convened by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education) selected a flight experiment proposal from the AACPS three finalists. The winning project will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Mission 14.

    The winning project, “How Does Microgravity Affect the Germination of Thyme?” was developed by students from Central Middle School, Abigail Ippolito, Ella Lovelace, Mary-Cate Parks, and Natalie Wolf under the direction of their science teacher, Margaret Sieber.

    The Central Middle School Mission 14 Winning Students

    “If growing thyme is successful, everyone will be able to add extra flavor to foods and will be protected from illnesses such as bronchitis, whooping cough, sore throat, colic, arthritis, upset stomach, stomach pain, diarrhea, bedwetting, a movement disorder in children (dyspraxia), intestinal gas (flatulence), parasitic worm infections, and skin disorders.”

    So what happens next? Astronauts aboard the ISS will conduct the experiment, and after a typical four- to six-week stay in orbit, the experiment will be returned to Earth for harvesting and analysis by the school’s student flight team. In addition, the selected finalists may attend the SSEP National Conference next summer in Washington, D.C. They may present their experimental design alongside other presentations by nationally recognized scientists, engineers and astronauts.

    Funding was provided by a grant from the Maryland Space Grant Consortium and the STEM Office of Anne Arundel County Public Schools.

    The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program 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.