Superintendent's Memo #157-10

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

July 9, 2010

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP)

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) and American Aerospace have launched the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), a historic opportunity for students to propose experiments for the final scheduled flight of the Space Shuttle, STS-134.

The SSEP is a national science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education initiative that provides middle and high school classes across a school division the ability to propose experiments to fly in low Earth orbit, and to celebrate that accomplishment with their local community and with national and global audiences. The SSEP supports a local experiment design competition in each participating school division, together with extensive local programming that embraces a community-wide engagement model for STEM education.

To provide maximum flexibility for participation in the SSEP by a school division, or an individual school, three possible levels of participation have been developed:

For details about this time-critical program, visit the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program’s website at The deadline for submitting a letter of commitment is August 2, 2010.

For further information about this opportunity, please contact Dr. Jeff Goldstein, center director, at the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, by e-mail at, or by telephone at (301) 395-0770.