Traverse City News and Events

TC West To Participate In Student Spaceflight Experiment

June 23, 2018

Come 2019, a Traverse City West Senior High School experiment will be heading into space.
 
West Senior High was recently accepted as a participating community in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Mission 13 to the International Space Station. The program is run by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education. It allows students to design experiments to be sent into space and flown in low Earth orbit.
 
At the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, students at West Senior High will work in small groups to develop proposals for experiments. Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) estimates that roughly 200 proposals will be submitted for the program, representing the work of more than 800 students in grades 9-12. One of the proposed experiments will be selected, built, and launched into space. Curriculum for the program will include lessons in microgravity experiment design and proposal writing.
 
TC West has participated in two SSEP flight experiences in the past. Those programs launched experiments from TC West students into low Earth orbit in 2014 and 2017, respectively. The experiments were operated by astronauts aboard the International Space Station before being sent back to earth for harvesting and analysis. SSEP Mission 13 will follow the same narrative, with the experiment expected to launch into low Earth orbit next spring or summer.
 
West Senior High needs to raise roughly $24,500 to participate in the SSEP program. So far, the school has raised about half the required funds, thanks to donations from Subaru of America and Traverse City’s Resort District Dental Society. To help raise the additional $12,500, TCAPS is accepting donations here.

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