May 2017

Message from Dr. Stephen Ruffin, Director, Georgia Space Grant Consortium
In early May, the GSGC submitted its Annual Performance Document of progress to NASA.  This report highlighted the impact of over 35 innovative projects around the state designed to promote STEM engagement, internships and fellowships, and educator professional development.  A sample of these projects has been and will continue to be highlighted here in the monthly newsletter.  Collectively, 9,103 students were engaged and 1,387 educators were trained in these programs over the last year.  GSGC continues to expand diversity in STEM fields with 39% of students engaged being from underrepresented populations and 42% being women. We are looking forward to another successful and enriching year with the Georgia Space Grant, and would like to thank all of our affiliates for their wonderful programs contributing to these goals.


-Registration Now Open-
August 21st, 2017, Georgia will experience its first total solar eclipse visible since 1970, with the next not occurring until 2045. The Georgia Space Grant Consortium will be providing kits for the 2017 Solar Eclipse that include include viewing glasses and educational materials free of charge. Educators, students, and others are all welcome to request kits.
Please register for these kits at

Affiliate Highlight: Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University is conducting a program with high school students from the Cobb County Alternative High School.  Students in this program were instructed in a series of introductory university-level laboratories covering a variety of scientific topics, including physics, chemistry, genetics, microbiology, ecology, human physiology, and anatomy. The labs were held on the Kennesaw State University campus and were led by KSU undergraduates, exposing the high school students not only to STEM ideas and techniques but also to the university environment.  In addition, the KSU student-led laboratories provided an opportunity for leadership development and growth for the KSU undergraduates. The undergraduate students introduced each laboratory exercise for the high school students and developed a plan for which instructional goals should be accomplished in each exercise. For most of the undergraduate participants, this was their first experience leading laboratory exercises rather than simply following them.

SSEP Opportunity for Schools to Engage Grade 5-16: Deadline Extended to May 31, 2017

About the Program: The Student Space Flight Experiments Program (SSEP) is hosting a competition for students to design microgravity experiments for flight to the International Space Station (ISS). SSEP Mission 12 to ISS will provide each participating community with a research mini-laboratory capable of supporting a single microgravity experiment, and all launch services to fly the mini-lab to ISS in Spring 2018 and return it safely to Earth for harvesting and analysis. Mirroring how professional research is done, student teams across the community submit research proposals and go through a formal proposal review process to select the flight experiment. The design competition – from program start, to experiment design, to submission of proposals by student teams – spans 9 weeks from September 5 to November 3, 2017. A curriculum and content resources for teachers and students supporting foundational instruction on science conducted in microgravity (in a weightless environment) and experiment design. To register:

 American Society for Gravitational and Space Research Ken Souza Spaceflight Competition.

Proposals Due: September 1, 2017.

About the Competition:  Student members of the American Society for Gravitational and Spaceflight Research (ASGSR) global community – high school, undergraduate, and graduate – are encouraged to develop creative research proposals in the fields of space life and physical sciences, pairing your experiment with a public outreach plan to share the excitement of the field with others.  The top proposal will receive a free spaceflight for your payload on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket in 2018 and a $1,000 grant to prepare and develop your experiment for your flight. Please click here for more information.
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