Walden Lake Elementary School fifth-grader, Connor Scott, never imagined his artwork design would be traveling into space this summer, but thanks to the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) and his fourth-grade teacher, he was excited to learn his design was selected out of over 100 applicants in Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS), and made into a patch being worn by an astronaut.
His patch entered space on August 14th and will be returned this Fall embossed with a certification stating it flew in outer space. On return to Earth, the Mission Patch will have traveled 400,000 miles each day aboard the International Space Station (ISS), as ISS orbited the Earth at an altitude of 260 miles – 47 times higher than Mount Everest.
Connor has his fourth-grade English Language Arts (ELA) teacher, Melissa Triebwasser, to thank for creating an optional reading assignment which incorporated science. Triebwasser had students read articles about the ISS and gave them the option to participate in the competition, creating a patch design inspired by what they read and learned.
“I enjoyed reading about the zero gravity in space and would like to be able to do that at school so that I can hover from class to class,” said Connor.
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is about engaging students, teachers and the community as a whole. This program provides a unique opportunity for student research, inspiring them to become America’s next generation of scientists and engineers.
The project is for Kindergarten – 8th grades. One winner from K-5th and one winner from 6th-8th grade will be chosen from Hillsborough County Public Schools.
Patch design applications for the 2017-18 school year are now available.
For more information about SSEP, visit: http://ssep.ncesse.org/current-flight-opportunities/ssep-mission-12-to-the-international-space-station-iss/ssep-mission-12-to-iss-mission-patch-art-and-design-competition/
To learn more about Walden Lake Elementary, visit: http://waldenlake.mysdhc.org/
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