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Middle-schoolers designed a microgravity experiment that's going to the ISS! Help us send them to the launch in Wallops Island, VA.
Middle-schoolers designed a microgravity experiment that's going to the ISS! Help us send them to the launch in Wallops Island, VA.
100 backers pledged $10,710 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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What better way is there to engage students in "brain sports" . . . .that's Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) . . . than to give them a goal of sending an experiment into space?

Well, it worked! On May 6, 2014, a microgravity experiment designed by four Kansas City middle-school students and a Mission Patch design created by another KC middle-schooler is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Wallops Island, VA. An Antares rocket with an Orb-2 Cygnus vehicle will ferry the SSEP Mission 5 experiments from 15 communities via "Payload Charlie Brown."

To see this rocket launch will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these students! We are the first community . . . not only in Kansas City . . but in the state Missouri to have this fantastic opportunity!

We're a collaboration of four charter schools and one parochial school from the urban core which banded together to form a community that participated in Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Mission 5, a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE).

Our Kansas City collaboration consists of students from Benjamin Banneker Charter Academy of Technology, Academie Lafayette, Della Lamb, Hogan Preparatory Academy Middle School, and St. Peter's School.

The team whose experiment will be sent to the ISS is Team Defying Microgravity, which includes four 8th grade girls from St. Peter's School, including Tone'Nae Bradley-Toomer, Zoe Butler, Anna Campbell, and Maureen Egan. My Ly is the student from Della Lamb whose Mission Patch was selected to also be sent to the ISS.

We'd like to send a student delegation and their chaperones to see the launch, and ask for your financial support to raise $10,500 to pay for airfare, lodging, transportation, and meals. Our goal is to send at least 10 people from our Kansas City community. In the spirit of true collaboration, we hope to not only take students who designed the selected experiment, but the designer of the Mission Patch, as well as team members from the other schools whose experiments were finalists.

The selected experiment, "Oxidation in Space" was designed to test whether rust occurs on a 2-penny nail in microgravity (aboard the ISS) faster or slower than it does in Earth's gravity. While the experiment is being performed by astronauts on the ISS, the students from all the KC schools will be performing the "ground truth" here on Earth.

6,750 students from 15 communities all over the U.S. were involved in SSEP Mission 5. 1,344 flight experiment proposals were received from the student research teams. On December 13, 2013, the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education informed each community of their selected flight experiments. Our team's experiment is one of only 15 which will be sent to the ISS on SSEP Mission 5!

We appreciate the support of our local sponsors, who enabled us to fund the payload to get our experiment transported to and from the ISS. Our supporters for this effort include Distribution by Air, Google Fiber, Kauffman Foundation, City of Kansas City, Missouri, KC STEM Alliance, and Benjamin Banneker Charter Academy of Technology.

The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (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 NanoRacks LLC, working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utliziation of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture. Dr. Jeff Goldstein is the Program Director. To learn more, visit http://ssep.ncesse.org.

Thanks in advance for considering the funding of our project!

Risks and challenges

We have a short amount of time to find our funding, but with the support of our friends, families, mentors, and supporters, we think we can raise the necessary money to fund the trip for our students whose experiment and patch was chosen. The date of the launch is subject to change, so we must buy airline tickets with flexible dates, which is more costly. We will keep you updated on any changes to the schedule, and hope you will follow the progress as we get closer to our launch date and our campaign deadline.

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    You will receive a Thank You e-mail, a photo of the team, and an e-postcard from the students at the launch.

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    You will receive a Thank You e-mail, digital photo of the team, an e-postcard from the students while at the launch, a mention of you or your company on the facebook page with our sincere gratitude.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You will receive a Thank You e-mail, digital photo of the team, an e-postcard from the students while at the launch, a mention of you or your company on the facebook page with our sincere gratitude, and an SSEP Mission 5 “Mission Patch” button.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You will receive a Thank You e-mail, digital photo of the team, an e-postcard from the students while at the launch, a mention of you or your company on the facebook page with our sincere gratitude, an SSEP Mission 5 “Mission Patch” button, a SSEP Mission 5 t-shirt, and a photo of the students at the launch, signed by the students.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    You will receive a Thank You e-mail, digital photo of the team, an e-postcard from the students while at the launch, a mention of you or your company on the facebook page with our sincere gratitude, an SSEP Mission 5 “Mission Patch” button, a SSEP Mission 5 t-shirt, photo of the students at the launch, signed by the students, and a copy of the results of our experiment, showing the data collected both in microgravity and on Earth.

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Funding period

- (28 days)