For Immediate Release

Contact: Joanna O’Donnell, 208-939-9600


Eagle, Idaho, September 14, 2015 – North Star Charter School (NSCS) has been selected to participate in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP).   SSEP is a national Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) educational initiative.  Through this program, NSCS students will design and propose an experiment to be tested in microgravity on the International Space Station.

This unique opportunity will provide students authentic immersion into a multi-faceted research experience and genuinely engage them in America’s Space Program.  Students will work under real world constraints imposed by the operation of a flight certified microgravity mini-laboratory and flight operations to and from low Earth orbit. Each of the 80 teams, composed of 3-4 students, will write a real research proposal and experience a formal proposal review and selection process. One proposed experiment will be selected for flight to the International Space Station currently scheduled for launch in late spring of 2016. A NSCS delegation will have the opportunity to travel to the Smithsonian to attend their own research conference, reporting on experiment design and analysis of ground truth data, and the flight team reporting on flight results.

NSCS students will put their knowledge and skills to work in a real-world situation where the answers are unknown and teams of students have to work together towards a common goal. By providing these experiences across multiple grade levels, SSEP will engage NSCS students at different developmental entry points and push them to employee their current knowledge in meaningful ways. In addition to being a world class learning experience, SSEP will help NSCS meet standards set by the Idaho State Standards and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.

The support of these generous donors made this possible:  North Star Charter School Community, Idaho Power, NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium, Discover Technology, Subaru of America, and the Center for the Advancement of Science and Space.


The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program ( is undertaken by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE; in partnership with NanoRacks, LLC.  This on-orbit educational research opportunity is enabled through NanoRacks, LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.