Top Two Selected Teams: 2020 DreamUp to Space Virtual Mission Experiment Design Challenge

We are thrilled to announce the teams selected for flight in the 2020 DreamUp to Space Virtual Mission & Experiment Design Challenge, representing learners from the Lower School of SCVi, iLEAD’s founding school, and iLEAD Exploration. These are the experiments that will head to the International Space Station (ISS) with a targeted date of March 2021. Proposals and videos from eight finalist teams were reviewed by a panel of scientists, with these two teams selected:

“What is the Effect of Microgravity on Vigna angularis (Adzuki Beans)?”
Principal Investigator (PI): Quentin Gauge (iLEAD Exploration, 6th grade)
“What is the Effect of Microgravity on Daucus carota (Carrot Seeds)?”
Principal Investigators (PI’s): Hutch Siegen and Sophia Siegen (SCVi, 5th/6th grade)

“I want to extend my congratulations to the finalists, who’ve demonstrated an awe-inspiring amount of tenacity,” said Lauren Milord, DreamUp’s Partnership and Outreach Manager. “Not only have you put together some excellent proposals, but you’ve also done so in an unprecedented learning environment. Best of luck developing your experiments, and I can’t wait to meet you at the launch!”

The finalists were reviewed by a panel of assessors comprising scientists and aerospace experts and used a selection process that took into account the teams’ written proposals, their video submissions, and their responses to questions regarding how they will use this opportunity to share with other learners, families, and the community.

“Selecting two finalists from the proposal submissions was incredibly difficult,” said Al Bowers, assessor and retired Chief Scientist, NASA Armstrong. “The ideas were so great, we could see each idea and easily envision the way it would be carried out by the astronauts on the Space Station and the students conducting the control on the ground. The assessor panel had a very difficult time selecting only two. All the proposals were simply outstanding! How incredible for these young people, standing on this terrestrial shore looking out to this ocean of infinite darkness and seeing the future!”

The teams also received praise from iLEAD’s leader of STEAM programs.

“We are so proud of all of the learners who participated in the DreamUp to Space Virtual Mission. We had kids from across all of our sites involved in the project and many of them exhibited the kind of enthusiasm, determination and self-responsibility that was required to successfully complete the project as well as continue on in the journey of preparing an experiment to be launched to space,” said Kathleen Fredette, iLEAD’s Director of STEAM Initiatives. “It was a pleasure to share the leadership of this mission with Amber Soto, iLEAD’s Director of Mathematics – Instruction, Implementation, and Improvement. We met with the ‘crewmembers’ involved in this project for weekly briefings, delivering them with unit challenges for which they received badges. We had never run a mission virtually, so it was a huge learning for all of us and the young people’s enthusiasm for space and enjoyment of the process is what fueled them.”

The next phase of the journey requires the selected teams to create a “DreamUp Launch Team.” The selected PIs are next tasked with opening up the opportunity for iLEAD learners to apply to be part of one of the launch teams, which will include experiment optimization, outreach, and fundraising. If all goes well, our teams will have the opportunity to present their experiment designs at Kennedy Space Center prior to the launch.

“iLEAD continues to be proud and honored to contribute to the research on the ISS,” said iLEAD California CEO and co-founder Dawn Evenson. “The selected proposals are indicative of the kind of learners we have in iLEAD —that even in the face of distance learning challenges, they chose to engage in this rigorous project bringing their joy of learning, imagination and hard work to produce a space proposal that would intimidate many adults.”


News & Information from iLEAD Student Aerospace Projects

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