iForward Online Students Launch Science Project to International Space Station

In a previous blog post, we shared the exciting news that hundreds of iForward students participated in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) during the 2017-18 academic year. 

Our online high school and middle school students collaborated with groups of their peers across Wisconsin to do research, develop hypotheses, and design experiments exploring the effects of a micro-gravity environment.  In doing so, they became the first students of an online school to participate in the SSEP program, and we are incredibly proud of all of their efforts.

After months of hard work, the research proposals of three groups were submitted to the SSEP National Step 2 Review Board as finalists.  Eventually, "Grain Size and Distribution Analysis of Gallium in Microgravity" - a proposal designed by iForward students in grades 6-8 - was selected by the Board to participate in the 2018 SSEP National Conference at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC - one of just 34 experiments selected from across the country.

The winning group traveled to our nation's capitol, where they explored the Museum, heard presentations from astronauts, museum staff, and the other student groups, gave their own oral presentation, and took part in a poster session where they interacted with Museum visitors.  

On Day 2 of the Conference, our middle school student group woke up before the crack of dawn and watched a live video feed of their research project being launched to the International Space Station on a SpaceX rocket, where it was carried out by real astronauts aboard the ISS.  In that moment, all of the time spent paid off, as our students became part of our nation's heritage of excellence in space.

The video above captures the incredible experience that the winning group had at the SSEP Conference.  We hope you will take the time to watch the video and celebrate the outstanding work of these students.  

To learn more about the SSEP program, check out the SSEP website.

If you're interested in iForward, now is the time to enroll!  You can find instructions on how to apply here.