WSBR Education Fund

As a charitable 501(c)(3) organization, the Washington Space Business Roundtable (WSBR) funds activities to support the education of young students relating to space and STEM education with the goal of stimulating interest in careers in space-related fields. All proceeds from the silent auction at the Annual Flagship Luncheon are used for the Education Fund used to sponsor initiatives in line with the WSBR mission. Some of the initiatives that the Education Fund financed since the 2014 Flagship Luncheon are highlighted below.

MD Schools will Design an Experiment and Fly it to ISS… This Year!!

WSBR has again supported local schools to participate in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) this year in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland. Through the program, several hundred 7th graders in both school districts will be immersed in microgravity experiment design and proposal writing. The winning experiment from each school district will fly on SSEP Mission 8 to the ISS, expected to launch in the fall of 2015. The experiments will accompany NASA’s mission-critical experiments up to the ISS, and they will be brought home from space for the students to analyze. This is a unique opportunity for students to design, think through, propose, develop and fly an experiment all in one academic year!

SSEP is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally.

In the 2013/2014 academic year, WSBR supported the SSEP program at the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy in Washington, DC. The winning experiment from that community flew to ISS with SSEP Mission 5 last July on a Cygnus capsule atop an Antares launch vehicle and returned to Earth in a Dragon capsule in October.

Mission 5 Launch to ISS

Cesar Chavez Takes on the Rocketry Challenge

WSBR has again partnered with the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy to implement an exciting new program to inspire its students. For the first time, Cesar Chavez Schools will have their own team in the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC).

TARC, sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry, is an extra-curricular program that allows teams of 3-10 students to learn how to design, build, and fly a rocket. In 2014, it had over 4000 student participants in 48 states!

Experience, Inspiration and Education – Space Camp in a Nutshell

WSBR has continued its successful partnership with The INSPIRE Project to send local middle school students and teachers to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. In 2014, WSBR directly sponsored four students to attend a one-week program at the Space Academy this summer, as well as one teacher to attend the Advanced Space Academy for Educators one-week program. We are thrilled to continue our support for these dedicated teachers who are willing to put in extra time and effort to bring new ideas and experiences to their classrooms and their schools.

The Space Camp experience is a week of intellectually and physically challenging fun. Campers take away a sense of accomplishment and teamwork that would be nearly impossible to replicate in a classroom. Alexa, pictured above left, and her team won the Outstanding Team Award at graduation this year, an honor we hope will inspire the bright young students for years to come.

This year, we were particularly proud to sponsor the winning team from the annual Solar System Competition, organized by the Patriots Technology Training Center, led by WSBR/INSPIRE Space Camp alumnus, Thurman Jones.

Applications for the 2015 program are due 30 April! Please encourage students and teachers from the Washington Metropolitan area to apply at

Expanding the Reach of the Challenger Center

WSBR continues to support for Challenger Center for Space Science Education on an exciting project for the Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) program. The four-year, multi-million dollar grant enables Challenger Center to leverage its brand new, state-of-the-art technology and bring simulation learning opportunities into classrooms throughout the mid- Atlantic region and eventually, worldwide. The grant includes teacher training, real-time assessment of students and third party evaluation of methodologies.

For information regarding WSBR’s education initiatives, including field trip applications, visit Education Initiatives..

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