iLEAD/DreamUp Projects Headed to International Space Station

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared here on the iLEAD Student Aerospace Projects website. The 2019 DreamUp to Space challenge is just one example of the exciting types of project-based learning opportunities provided by iLEAD Schools, Alaka’i O Kaua’i’s partner.

We are thrilled to announce the teams selected for flight in the 2019 DreamUp to Space challenge, representing learners from iLEAD Agua Dulce, iLEAD Lancaster, and SCVi. These are the experiments that will head to the International Space Station (ISS) this fall. Proposals and videos from the top 9 finalists were reviewed by an independent panel of science and space experts.

The three teams selected for flight aboard the ISS are:

“What is the Effect of Microgravity on Mycelium?” (SCVi, 11th grade)

  • Team Members: Brayden Hall, Connor Raskin, Mario Robles, Adam Simpson (Click here to see the team’s video pitch)

“What is the Effect of Microgravity on Ulva Lactuca?” (SCVi, 4th/5th grade)

  • Charlie Halvorsen, Gabriel Olmos, Maliah Sanmarti, Skye Van Verseveld (Click here to see the team’s video pitch.)

“What is the Effect of Microgravity on Aloe Vera?” (Agua Dulce 5th/6th grade, Lancaster 6th grade)

  • iLEAD Agua Dulce learners Cody Anderson, Leo Cuellar, Samantha Diem, and Kaylee Pippin
  • iLEAD Lancaster learners Brianna Angel, Ana Lopez Barahona, Mariana Lopez, Estrella Perez, Uriah Mack, and Lizette Monze Trujillo
  • Click to see the video pitches from Agua Dulce and Lancaster.

The assessor team concluded that, given the similarities, both Aloe Vera teams have been selected and should merge and work together to optimize their experiment. This is common practice within the science community, collaborating to produce best results.

“We are so impressed with the innovation and creativity across all of the applicants, so this final decision was extremely difficult,” said Carie Lemack, CEO of DreamUp (click for bio). “The assessor team is excited that the three selected teams have the opportunity to see their research take place in microgravity!”

Consideration for the selection included the teams’ written proposals, their video submissions, and their responses to questions regarding how they will use this opportunity to share with the community.

“All the proposed experiments tackle questions that can be applied to long term human space exploration and colonization,” said Dr. Jacob Cohen, Chief Scientist, NASA Ames (click for bio). “As is common with all flight experiments, prior to launch, ground optimization of the experimental protocol is critical for execution and interpretation of the data derived from the flight experiment.”

The specific launch vehicle is still to be determined, but anticipated arrival on the ISS is this fall.

Kathleen Fredette, iLEAD’s Director of STEAM Initiatives said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the hard work and dedication that all of our semi-finalists and finalists displayed, and the leadership demonstrated by our amazing facilitators! Throughout history, only a select few have the opportunity to be included in science happening on the International Space Station, and our learners are actually part of this inspiring work! This is exactly why STEAM education is so vital and why iLEAD Schools is committed to projects of this nature. We honor all of you today and encourage you to continue to follow your dreams and goals, knowing this was a stepping stone to the next awesome thing you will do!”

Dawn Evenson, Co-Founder and CEO stated: “iLEAD is incredibly proud to contribute to research on the International Space Station! These three projects represent the best examples of how learner passion and authentic purpose drive achievement through project-based learning!”

iLEAD Student Aerospace Projects

Countdown to iLEAD Student Aerospace Project Winners Announcement

All of us familiar with aerospace projects know that sometimes things do not go exactly as planned and launches get rescheduled. We have a parallel “slip” situation in an anticipated four-day delay in the announcement of our final three winners among the nine finalists. While we wait on tenterhooks for our assessors to do the difficult job of choosing which projects will best benefit the science community, let’s meet the finalists one more time by viewing their pitches over the coming days. Then in next week’s Monday Message, we will reveal which three of them are going to the International Space Station later this year. Stay tuned! Click here to read more about the finalists.