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Fairmont Elementary and Sanger High selected to be part of America's space program

Fairmont Elementary School and Sanger High School have pioneered Fresno County’s first Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP). (Courtesy photo)

Fairmont Elementary School and Sanger High School have pioneered Fresno County’s first Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP).

SSEP, a national model STEM education program, has engaged hundreds of students 5-12th grade in real microgravity experiment design and proposal writing.

Experiments were submitted nationwide as well as in Canada and Brazil for SSEP Mission 12.

A student from Sanger Unified proposed experiments that were selected to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) in low Earth orbit, and be operated by the astronauts.

The experiment will be part of a payload for Student Spaceflight Experiments Program Mission 12 to ISS, and will launch on a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, adjoining NASA's Kennedy Space Center, in late Spring 2018.

The student's experiment shows the effect microgravity has on the developmental stages of brine shrimp. The proposal was submitted by Sean Viau and Austin Griesner from Fairmont Elementary, Elisa Rocha and Jackie Ramirez were project managers from Sanger High School.

The winning team will be representing the Sanger community by traveling to the Smithsonian to attend their own research conference, reporting on experiment design and analysis of ground truth data, and the flight team reporting on flight results.

Two student-designed mission patches will travel to the International Space Station with the experiment. Sixth-grader Heidi Kimzey from Fairmont Elementary and Yosselin Fernandez from Sanger High School created the artwork for the patches. The patches will be certified as having flown in space and returned for display in their respective schools.

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