Students Say, “Thank You” - Alexander Chopra and Casey Christmas

Dear Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation, We (Alex Chopra and Casey Christmas) would like to formally thank you on behalf of Lincoln Middle School. Our 5-member 8th-grade student group (consisting of the two of us plus Sam Kohn, Zach Jacobs, and Noah Sakkour) were honored to have our science project selected out of 84 other proposals for experimentation in microgravity. This program and opportunity that you funded, makes it possible for us to be able to send a self-designed experiment that was created with a mixture of both science and writing to the International Space Station (ISS). Throughout this experiment, we learned how to write a scientific proposal that combined both scientific thought and writing skills; how to design and conduct experiments; and how to properly utilize time and resources to meet deadlines. The 6-week long project took all the brainpower and effort we had to put together a solid proposal. This project opportunity brought to us by the Santa Monica Education Foundation and the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) gave us a once-in-a-lifetime experience to work towards putting a student-designed experiment into outer space. Even the projects that were not chosen also allowed the students to learn the same lessons that we learned about scientific inquiry. In the end, all 8th graders will be able to share the collective of having our school represented on the ISS. The SSEP missions should be continued due to the fact that it is a unique combination of writing and science to write a scientific protocol. This combination allowed all 8th-grade students to improve their skills on two subjects while working on the one project. This opened our minds on realizing that these two different subjects can come together as one to create a great learning experience. This program could also inspire students to study and continue in scientific careers in the future. Thank you again for funding us for this truly amazing and inspiring program of SSEP that brought together friends and peers to create a viable experiment that could potentially produce results on the ISS. Sincerely, Alexander Chopra and Casey Christmas