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Three student teams chosen as finalists for SSEP

Aerial view of Kuhlman stadium with water tower in foreground.
Three student teams chosen as finalists for SSEP

After nine weeks of research, experiment design, and proposal writing, a local panel of evaluators has recommended our community's top three flight experiments for final consideration. These experiments will be reviewed formally by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education Step 2 Review Board, which will select one of the three proposals to be sent to the International Space Station.

180 experiment proposals were submitted, representing over 700 EPS students in grades 5-12. The local review board evaluated all submitted proposals and chose the top three to advance to the final round of competition. The three submitted proposals are:

Microgravity's Affect on the Growth of Cultured Meat and Stem Cells
Team members: Melissa Castellanos (grade 8), Katherine LeSourd (grade 8), Najma Mukhtar (grade 8)
Teachers: Marina Lundell, Susan Nielsen

Bean Root Growth in Zero Gravity
Team members: Joshua Cram (grade 12), Grayson Irons (grade 10), Colin Shaw (grade 12)
Teachers: Jodi Ramirez and Shannon Seaver

Effect of Microgravity on Cell-Free Gene Expression Systems and Uses for Heavy Metal Detection
Team members: Derrick Siu (grade 11), Jimmy Vu (grade 11), Stephen Kanti Mahanty (grade 11)
Teachers: Jodi Ramirez, Shannon Seaver

The Step 2 Review Board will announce the proposal destined for the International Space Station Thursday, Dec. 15. Learn more about the Student Space Flights Experiments Program at

SSEP Finalists pose for a photo