Early Friday, June 29, a group of four students from Valley View HS watched as their project launched to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Mission 12. The group of students viewed the launch from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. where they also presented their experiment at the SSEP National Conference.
The project, “Effect of Microgravity on Soybean Germination,” was developed by 2018 graduates Titan Lam and Semajj Martinez; 11th-grader Douglas McCormack and 10th-grader Roman Lara under the guidance of science teacher Stacy Katzenstein and Professional Development Specialist Deepika Srivastava.
The project was integrated into the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket that launched from Space Launch Complex 39A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on an ISS resupply mission.
“The experience and knowledge we attained throughout the duration of this trip is beyond comparison to any textbook you could ever read at school,” said team member Roman Lara. “This once in a lifetime moment just cannot be described by words alone.”
The Valley View experiment was one of the 34 proposals selected by a national review board convened by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education from 2,498 proposals submitted by students from the United States, Canada and Brazil.
“Participating in this program is providing students real-world experiences that create unique learning opportunities,” said Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora. “It is so exciting that Moreno Valley Unified School District is now part of the American space program.”
“All of us on the Board of Education are extremely proud of the hard work behind this project,” said Board of Education Vice President Jesús Holguín, “It was thrilling to watch the launch with the students and I look forward to hearing about the lessons the students learn from this opportunity.”
Board Vice President Jesús Holguín, Board Clerk Cleveland Johnson, Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora and Valley View High School Principal Karen Johnson viewed the launch with the students and coaches in Washington, D.C.
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.