Stunning 3D Crystal Commemorating the U.S. Space Shuttle
Crystal Art Commissioned to Support
NCESSE's Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP)
Thousands of Grade 5-12 Students Designing Real Microgravity Experiments
Flying on the Last 2 Shuttle Flights, then on the International Space Station
Buy a Crystal and Help
inspire the next generation
of America's scientists and engineers
Shuttle over Earth Illuminated Keychain Shuttle in Ascent Large Crystal Block
crystal: 1.2 x 1.2 x 0.6 inches 4.7 x 3.1 x 2.4 inches (it's big!)
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), launched June 2010 by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education in partnership with NanoRacks, LLC, is a remarkable U.S. national Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education initiative that gives typically 300 to 1,000 students across a community the ability to design and propose real experiments to fly in low Earth orbit, first aboard the final flights of the Space Shuttle (STS-134 and STS-135), and then routinely on the International Space Station.
SSEP is about immersing and engaging
students and their teachers in real science
—on the high frontier—so that students
are given the chance to be scientists
—and experience science firsthand.
More broadly, SSEP is about a commitment to student ownership in exploration, to science as journey, and to the joys of learning. For school districts—even individual schools—it provides an opportunity to implement a systemic, high caliber, and historic STEM education program tailored to community need.
Each community participating in SSEP conducts a local Flight Experiment Design Competition with student teams vying for an experiment slot reserved just for their community in a real research mini-laboratory scheduled to fly in low Earth orbit. Additional program elements—the Community Program—leverages the flight design competition to engage the entire community, embracing a Learning Community Model for STEM education, and allows the experience to be celebrated with national, even global audiences.