January 11, 2019

Oakwood Back in Orbit

On Monday, January 7, Director of Experiential Learning Phu Tranchi announced to the community that an experiment created by DJ ’20 and Monie ’21 has been selected for this year’s Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Mission 13. This honor means that their painstakingly crafted experiment, titled “The Effects of Microgravity on Cell Recognition,” will be launched into space this spring and tested onboard the International Space Station by a team of astronauts. Congratulations to DJ, Monie, and their teacher Andrew Miller!

We would also like recognize the other two finalist teams whose submissions our selection committee sent to Washington, D.C.:

Avalon ‘23, Theo ‘23, Trainor ‘23, and Morrie ‘23, for their experiment, “The Corrosion of 2219-T6 Aluminum Alloy in Microgravity” (Teacher Kari Bosworth)

Richard ’23, Ethan ‘23, Kate Shapiro ‘23, “Can cytokinin be distributed throughout arabidopsis thaliana with an overexpression line of AtABCG14 that are grown hydroponically in microgravity?” (Teacher Andrew Miller)

At town meeting Phu celebrates all three finalist groups and announces DJ and Monie's experiment as the Oakwood representative to journey to the International Space Station.

Phu believes that all of our students who participated in the program had great ideas, great research, and great experiments, and that several stood out for having all of these elements synthesized and communicated cohesively. He noted, “The questions generated and the level of research for this mission were astonishing,” and that these top three proposals selected as finalists “stood out for the presentation of the scope of their research, focus on the experimental question, and detailed experimental design. The three finalist proposals were further distinguished by their plans for experimental and ground control analysis, and overall communication of their experimental design.”

We’re proud of the all of the hard work that went into these student-crafted experiments over the course of the fall. Our participation in this SSEP launch follows the 2016 launch of the Oakwood Space Program, which culminated in our school’s first experiment going to the International Space Station. Click here to read more about that mission and the origins of this out-of-this-world program.

And, watch for more updates as the launch date approaches!

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.