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Portland, Oregon
Two students use lab equipment

Celeste and Josie pipetting lysozyme solution for their first ground-truth experiment. Image Credit: SSEP

Experiment: Lysozyme Protein Crystal Growth in Microgravity

"Jackson Middle School became involved with the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program following my experience as a Honeywell Educator at Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., last summer," said Jennifer Kelley, faculty facilitator for the project. "Participating in SSEP has been a wonderful learning opportunity for me. Nearly everything related to SSEP has been a first: grant writing, the actual science of Josie and Celeste’s experiment, getting our blog started. So far, one of the best parts of the SSEP experience has been sharing my excitement about space and the shuttle program with the Jackson community. Showing their creativity and varied interests, Jackson students submitted proposals ranging from E. coli growth to mouse embryo development in microgravity. Now I'm mentoring these two great girls in preparing their experiment for flight. What a tremendous experience!"

A teacher talks to a classroom of students

Jennifer Kelley introducing SSEP to Jackson's sixth-grade students. Image Credit: SSEP

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said Celeste, one of the student researchers. "It's amazing that Josie and I were chosen to participate. I look up at the stars and wonder how everything came to be. ... It's all a little scary, but it's also amazing that we can explore it. If we get a clear night in Oregon, which is pretty unlikely, it would be cool to see the shuttle go over knowing that part of me is up there."

Added Josie, the other student researcher: "Before my grandfather died, he built the computers ... for all the shuttles that have been launched. His name was Richard Gray. He didn't work for NASA, but he did work for Motorola. I am excited to participate in SSEP because I know that this would have made him proud."

Jennifer Kelley: Jackson Middle School
David Hitt: NASA Educational Technology Services