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Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Fitchburg, Mass.
Student in a lab using a pipette

Brittany loads samples into the fluid mixture enclosures, or FME, mini-labs at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Image Credit: SSEP

Experiment: Effect of Arthrobactor on Polyethylene Decomposition Rate in Microgravity

A school like Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School (Monty Tech) offers so many opportunities to help students brighten their futures and open doors to a spectacular education. One of the newest, most challenging, yet most rewarding opportunities presented to our school community is the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program.

In this remarkable competition, students are able to incorporate their academic and vocational knowledge within their SSEP proposal. "Having a vocational-based education opened our minds to the real-life applications that we could apply through the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program," says Russell, a team member in Graphic Communications. The SSEP experience even opened new doorways at Monty Tech, with the introduction of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, club, where students can constructively connect academic and vocational skills.

Two students in a laboratory

Tori cuts nurdles in the laboratory while Miguel supervises. Image Credit: SSEP

Out of 779 proposals from the 12 separate communities that participated in the program for experiments flying to the International Space Station, and the estimated 3,490 students that engaged in this phenomenal opportunity, as a proud student of Monty Tech, it is still incredible to believe that I go to the same school as the four students who have made history for our community. Embarking on a journey that will make history for Monty Tech, the students who have participated in SSEP have been able to prove to themselves, and more importantly their school, that with an education from Monty Tech, you can go anywhere you desire, even as high as the stars.

Monty Tech's participation in SSEP Mission 1 to the International Space Station was made possible by the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium and the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts.

To read about the other student experiments for Mission 1 to the International Space Station, visit http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/station-here-we-come.html.

Victoria Lachance, Student/Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School