Space St. Croix is thrilled to hear that we are a finalist for the 2016 Hudson Community Foundation’s $5,000 SPARK Grant. We carefully researched what programs would involve elements that could be reused from year to year, thus extending the reach of the grant, those that would impact the largest # of students and those programs that would provide an out of this world experience for the participants. The Space St. Croix spark application covers four projects:
1.)VEGGIE Project. 3rd and 4th grade students – 950 students participating during the school year. VEGGIE is a technology that is currently operating onboard the International Space Station. Astronauts are experimenting with growing flowers, fruits and vegetables and determining the best procedures for producing viable crops. VEGGIE is manufactured by ORBITEC in Madison, WI. ORBITEC has a mini version of their VEGGIE system that can be used in classrooms. Participating students will conduct growth experiments using only the supplied LED lighting. Decisions on which color LED light to use, optimal water use, comparisons between growth patterns of samples growing in regular soil versus identical samples growing in Martian Regolith Simulant, are just some of the experiments they will perform.
Students will be experimenting with real technology that is being used in space right now and will be determining how astronauts might best grow crops on Mars one day. The bulk of the VEGGIE system will be able to be reused year after year, with only seed samples and fresh soil samples being needed for future runs of the program.
2.)High Altitude Science Project. This is a weather balloon program that is scalable for multiple grade levels, with demonstration flights provided to younger students with older students able to form research/design and launch/recovery groups. 2,000 students participating per school year.
High Altitude Science produces what they call an Eagle Pro Weather Kit
That includes a flight computer, delta flight frame, camera mount, 1m Near Space Parachute, weather balloon inflator, Spot Trace Satellite Tracker and a temperature/pressure sensor. Students would be able to launch their weather balloon, GoPro camera and sensing equipment up to altitudes of around 100,000 feet. This will provide Hudson students with a near space program. The teamwork, and effort students will need to put in to ensure a successful launch will be more than rewarded with the amazing data and views they will recover. The hard equipment will be a one-time investment that can be used for years to come with the only additional costs being balloons and helium.
3.)The Galileoscope Project – 24 portable 25-50 power telescopes will be used
In conjunction with programs such as Astronomy, Exploradome, ISS, and Lunar Eclipse. The class sizes vary from 15 – 24 students. First year of the program will schedule 400 students to participate. Evaluation of wear and tear/loss of telescopes will dictate future class scheduling. Participating classes will have a telescope for every student. They will be allowed to take the telescopes home to try to locate the assigned objects and to report back on their own findings. Lunar craters and mountains, the rings of Saturn, Jupiter and 4 of its moons are just some of the things that can be observed with this telescope. Optics, math and orbital mechanics will all be a part of the program. The Galileoscopes will be able to be used for many years worth of future programs.
4.)Space Camp Scholarship – the costs to send (2) students ages 12-14 (grade 7-9) to Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. is about $1,500.00 per student. I would like Space St. Croix to provide this opportunity for students with economic need, who are nominated by their teachers with an essay and speech component helping decide the (2) to be selected. There would be about $500.00 to put towards each students scholarship to start. Space St. Croix would fundraise and seek other grant opportunities to complete this partially funded program. That can have a life changing impact on a young person.
Space Camp Scholarship for (2) students of need – $500.00 per student
VEGGIE Project – (10) Space Gardens @ $58.00 per = $580.00
(10) Plant Grow LED light @33.99 per = $313.91
(2) 10 lbs. bag of simulated Martian Regolith = $264.00
High Altitude Science – (2) Eagle Pro Weather Balloon Kit = $1,440.00
- Hero5 GoPro Camera = $299.00
- Spare weather balloon = $55.00
- Helium tank rental 90 cu. Ft. = $300.00
Galileoscope – 4 cases (6 telescopes per case) @ $150.00 per case = $600.00
Shipping @$30.00 per case = $120.00
Total costs for listed programs = $4971.91