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AACPS Recently Held the Mission 13 Proposal Review Conference at Old Mill MS

In September, sixth graders at five Anne Arundel County Public Schools were introduced to the term “microgravity” and challenged to put themselves in the shoes of scientists vying for access to a very limited resource: dedicated space in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station!!

On November 7, 2018, approximately 150 student teams from Wiley H. Bates Middle School, Central Middle School, Lindale Middle School, Magothy River Middle School and Old Mill Middle School South presented their formal scientific proposals to local educators, scientists and engineers. They presented in hopes that their experiment would be chosen as one of the top three proposals selected to advance to the next level of Review. At the conclusion of these presentations and careful review of the proposals, three finalists were selected to move to the next step in the review process:

  • Central Middle School – Arianna Bodycomb, Adeline Burke, Nikita Mehta, and Grace Solan, “How does microgravity affect the hatching and development of brine shrimp?” In this project, the students hope to create a miniature food chain on the International Space Station, in which the brine shrimp are food source for larger fish that could serve as food for the astronauts.
  • Central Middle School – John Bertuna, Connor Feldman, and Aidan Stock, “How does microgravity impact the germination of dandelions?” These students selected dandelions for their rapid germination, and because they are both edible and have medicinal value. These traits could make dandelions useful for space travel and colonization.
  • Magothy River Middle School – Gabby Munoz, Ethan Shellem, Gavin Wildberger, and Caleb Young, “The structural integrity of concrete in microgravity.” In this investigation, students will compare the load-bearing capacity of concrete that hardened in microgravity with concrete that hardened on Earth. The results of this experiment will determine whether concrete that is mixed in microgravity can be used for building structures for the colonization of other planets and moons.

The winning proposal will continue to the International Space Station in the spring/summer of 2019.

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.

For information on the Mission 13 to ISS flight opportunity, and to get a detailed understanding of the program, read the SSEP Home Page: