JOHN DAY – Space patches designed by two Grant County students have been cleared for lift off.
Grant Union Junior-Senior High School seventh-grader Jasmine Martin and Humbolt Elementary sixth-grader Ben Henry won an “out of this world” art competition.
The art contest was held in conjunction with a scientific Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) competition, also held in Grant County, with the winning experiment and space patches set for flight into space on Mission 7 in June.
Grant Union science teacher Sonna Smith spearheaded the science competition, and Grant Union art teacher JJ Collier coordinated the art contest with help from sixth-grade teacher Lorie Croghan.
Other students throughout the U.S. also participated in SSEP contests in their communities.
Participating in the art contest were 76 Humbolt students in grades 3, 5 and 6 and 120 students in grades 7-12 at Grant Union.
Students from the participating schools were asked to create a design which would represent an embroidered space patch which astronauts wear on their voyages.
The entries were judged on artistic merit and neatness, with the required information included and written legibly.
Eight jurors from five Grant County towns, including artists and art teachers, selected the winners.
During the judging process, the artwork was set out with the designers’ names hidden from view.
Winners were chosen March 30.
Collier said that seven of the eight judges chose Martin’s patch, and Henry’s patch was neck and neck with another student’s patch.
“The entries were fantastic, making it hard for the judges,” she added.
Students, parents and others can watch for the countdown to launch of Mission 7 online at http://ssep.ncesse.org/communities/mission-patches/.
The science experiments and mission patches will be returned to the school after the flight as a symbol of the adventure into space.
SSEP is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education.