Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

LETTERS Lincoln Selected for Spaceflight Program

 

November 17, 2014



Dear Lincoln Families,

I am very proud and honored to share some wonderful news with you. As you probably know, our 8th grade students had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the School Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP) through the US Department of Education. Our 8th grade English and science teachers (Mrs. O’Brien, Mrs. GGMc, Mrs. Stivers, Ms. Wrabel, Mr. Montanez, and Mr. Sherman) wrote a compelling application to allow our 8th graders to participate and we were chosen!

To be able to participate and create experiments that will take place in microgravity, we had to have special experiment equipment as well as a “spot” on the rocket taking the experiment to the International Space Station. This cost money - $21,500 to be exact. We were able to make this happen through our Vision for Student Success(VSS) Stretch Grant (which happened due to YOUR donations to the SMMEF!), a grant from the California Science Consortium, and our very generous PTSA.

Since the beginning of the school year, 8th grade students have been “blocked” in English and science classes. This has allowed the English teachers to teach students how to write research-based proposal with credible informational text-type sources. This was a very meaningful way for students to apply knowledge and experience of informational text and writing (8th grade Common Core Standards) to a real science experiment proposal that would be considered to take place on the International Space Station (ISS).

Students spent the first nine weeks of school researching, developing, and writing science experiment proposals to take place in microgravity. We invited local area educators, engineers, and scientists to review students’ proposals and the top three were chosen. We will send these top three proposals to NASA and then they will choose ONE that will be executed as part of Mission 7 on the ISS. Simply Amazing.

We had an assembly today for all 8th graders to reveal the top three proposals. The 8th graders were extremely supportive of each other and proud of the winners. The top three proposals (in no particular order) are:

Group 1

Topic - paper chromatography

Samuel Buckely-Bonanno, Shrayes Raman, Adam Chamas, and Charlie Gooding.

Group 2

Topic - reproduction of E. Coli in microgravity

Ben Capehart, Dylan McCann, Alex Weng, Oliver Mead, and Eric Ton

Group 3

Topic - degradation of teeth in Coca-Cola in microgravity

Hazel June Withers, Sheena Sandhu, Natalie Bay, and Jillian Axel

To hear the applause and cheers for these students as if they were rock stars, brought tears to my eyes and shivers down my spine. Kids were hugging, high fiving, and congratulating each other as if they won a Nobel Peace Prize.

The plan is for the experiment chosen by NASA to fly to the ISS in the spring. We will have a live connection with the scientists in space and will be able to ask a question.

We had a true, supportive community experience today amongst our 8th grade students. I am beyond proud - I am humbled at the level of learning that is taking place at Lincoln Middle School.

I will be sending information to our SMMUSD Public Relations Office but wanted to share with our immediate community first.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Webb, Principal

 

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