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ECISD student set to participate in international science panel - Odessa American: ECISD

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ECISD student set to participate in international science panel

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Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 2:33 pm

The ECISD Innovation Department will be documenting Morales’ experience.

Morales was selected for the panel by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and manager of the International Space Station, a news release said.

The opportunity came as a result of the work Morales and her classmates from Falcon ECHS did in developing a science project for the Mission 12 Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP). The experiment they designed was flown to the International Space Station and conducted aboard the ISS last July.

Morales will be the only SSEP student on the panel and will represent not only ECISD and Texas, but also three different countries that participated in the SSEP. She will be among a panel of people that have been sending experiments to the ISS since 1973 and the only SSEP student responding to the impact of conducting an experiment on the ISS, the release said.

The team at CASIS said Morales would be a great choice because she was "poised, smart, articulate, and had a research project that is conceptually accessible,” the release said.

CASIS will cover travel costs for her and one chaperone to include flight, lodging and meals.

SSEP at Falcon ECHS, now Odessa Collegiate Academy, was facilitated by AVID coordinator Elizabeth Gray.

The experiment was titled, “The Efficacy of Ideonella Sakaiensis in a Microgravity Environment.” The experiment studied how that bacteria decomposed poly(ethylene terephthalate) in microgravity and compared it to Earth. Poly(ethylene terephthalate) or PET is used in fibers for clothing and containers for liquids and foods.

SSEP is an opportunity brought by ECISD’s Innovation Department’s program, PICK Education, which serves to bring real-world experiences into the classroom, make learning tangible and promote student ownership in their education.

SSEP is designed as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education initiative, and gives students the opportunity to become researchers where they are able to design and propose real microgravity experiments to be conducted by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. SSEP had 38 communities participating in the competition, across three countries; U.S., Canada and Brazil. Funding was provided by a grant from the Texas Space Grant Consortium, Subaru of America, Inc., Chevron and Education Foundation of Odessa.

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