World Space Week brings student experiments to space!

University of Toronto ISS11 March 2015 – University of Toronto Schools has been selected to fly student experiments in space! A student proposal was accepted into the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) which runs in collaboration with National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE). UTS is only the third school in Canada and the first in Ontario to participate in this program.

UTS learned about the competition during World Space Week 2014, where representatives from World Space Week Association and the Canadian Space Society came to the school to motivate students in space science. They recommended the program, UTS vigorously worked to meet the goals of the application, and we were accepted!

In the central component of the project, the grade 9 students will design micro-gravity experiments, working in small groups along with senior students who will mentor and collaborate. After a final decision on the top project, this experiment will be launched from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station to be performed simultaneously in space and on earth. One of the experiments is guaranteed to end up on the International Space Station!

This program promotes scientific innovation, research and space science in a hands on and exciting way; while encouraging young minds to apply and expand their knowledge in this exciting competition. Students and education need inspiration, real world, and “out of this world” applications to what they learn.

In addition to the class work carried out as part of the regular grade 9 science curriculum, this project promises to generate many interesting cross-grade, multi-disciplinary activities in school. For example, students will work on their research proposals during English class; and the UTS visual arts department will get involved in the creation of videos and, later, a “patch” (an embroidery patch commemorating the mission) contest.

So far, this undertaking is extremely exciting. However, there are also some challenges. Chief among them is the cost of participating. The SSEP requires a commitment of CA$27,000. They are hoping to secure corporate funding, but the school also did a successful crowdfunding campaign to assure the raising of funds.

More about UTS

University of Toronto Schools (UTS) is a university preparatory school, grades 7 through 12, affiliated with the University of Toronto. Located on University of Toronto’s St. George Campus, UTS offers high-achieving students a specialized curriculum and a unique co-educational learning environment that encourages creative interests and physical activity as well as a sense of social responsibility.

UTS graduates are admitted to highly-selective North American colleges and universities, many on scholarships. UTS is renowned for educating generations of outstanding graduates including two Nobel Laureates, 20 Rhodes Scholars and numerous leaders in commerce, industry, academics, the arts, sports, government and public service.

UTS is the only merit-based university preparatory school in Canada affiliated with a university and located on a university campus. Admission to UTS is based on overall performance. Financial accessibility is supported through a generously endowed bursary fund to which families may apply and which has been set in place to provide opportunities for qualified applicants.

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