Long Beach Alumni
Call for Local Review Board
Student Spaceflight Experiments Program
As you may know, Long Beach Public Schools is participating in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), which will enable one of our 6th grade science projects to go to space! The students will be working in teams to design a microgravity experiment, answering the question: How would a weaker gravitational force affect physical, chemical, or biological processes or systems? Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will conduct the experiment in orbit, approximately 250 miles above the surface of the Earth, while our students perform the experiment in their classrooms. Our students will compare and contrast their ground experiment with the one being carried out in space, and the winning team will be invited to present their research this Spring at the SSEP National Conference!
I am writing today to provide details about the Local Step 1 Community Review Board. The job of the Step 1 Review Board is to ultimately select three project proposals, helping to ensure that our flight experiment will be able to pass NASA Flight Safety Review. We will use evaluation criteria provided by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE). The 3 finalist proposals will then be adjudicated by a National Step 2 Review Board, who will choose one winning project from our 6th grade class to be launched! It's important to note: this is not a contest, where one of our teams may get their experiment flown to space; one of our 6th grade experiments will go to space - and you can help decide which one!
The Local Community Review Board should include Science and/or STEM educators, any local researchers, scientists, engineers, doctors, and/or persons who have a formal grounding in scientific research. The members of the Local Step 1 Community Review Board should be well-versed in what a proposal should accomplish (in terms of making the case for an experiment) and be familiar with a formal proposal review process for research. We will determine whether:
The experimental question posed by the students is appropriate (i.e. will the design proposed by the question yield a justifiable microgravity experiment? Can the question be tested via an on-orbit experiment?).
The experimental design proposed by the students is viable (i.e. are the variables suitably controlled? Will the materials survive the trip to and from orbit?).
The analysis planned by the students is both viable and effective in addressing the experimental objective
During the week of Oct. 24, we will meet virtually to discuss the evaluation process. Here is the SSEP Evaluation Criteria (also attached below as a pdf) if you would like to peruse in advance. You will also see attached below a sample student paper, done by 5th/6th graders from a previous Mission.
By Friday, November 4 (late afternoon), I will email each member of the Local Review Board a set of student proposals. The number of proposals to be reviewed by each Board member will depend on the number of people who volunteer. Evaluation feedback from the Board will be due back to me by the end of the day on Monday, November 7.
If you are interested in serving on our Local Step 1 Review Board and being a part of this exciting program, please complete this Google Form:
Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to your correspondence!
Long Beach Public Schools
Director of Science PreK-12