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National STEM Scholar Program Works with Blue Origin and DreamUp on Middle School Space Experiment and Curriculum

21st June 2018

The National Stem Cell Foundation (NSCF) announced today that it has partnered with Seattle-area spaceflight company Blue Origin for a NanoLab microgravity research lab module that was designed and built by the 2018 National STEM Scholar class earlier this month. The Scholar NanoLab is scheduled to travel onboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle for launch into microgravity on an upcoming flight.

NSCF has additionally partnered with DreamUp, the leading provider of space-based educational opportunities, to create a custom space-based curriculum that incorporates a mimic project for the middle school classrooms of each Scholar to follow the Blue Origin launch. The National STEM Scholar Program will make a space-based curriculum with custom micro- or zero-gravity module available to all current and future Scholar classes.

The National STEM Scholar Program, a partnership between NSCF and the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science at Western Kentucky University (WKU), provides advanced science education training and networking opportunities for the influential middle teachers of future scientists and engineers. By “training the trainers,” the program hopes to inspire the next generation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) pioneers nationwide. To date, 30 middle school teachers from 20 states have been selected as National STEM Scholars for participation in the program.

During an annual week-long program at Gatton Academy each June, National STEM Scholars engage in hands-on, minds-on science activities, connect with speakers and thought leaders in STEM education, train with skilled science educators and develop individual Challenge Projects for classroom implementation. Mentoring is provided throughout the year by WKU faculty. Each STEM Scholar class attends the National Science Teacher Association Annual Conference the following April to share midpoint progress with Scholar colleagues. All expenses, including travel costs, materials, mentoring and Challenge Project supplies, are covered by a grant from the National Stem Cell Foundation.

About the National Stem Cell Foundation
The National Stem Cell Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that funds adult stem cell and regenerative medicine research, connects children with limited resources to clinical trials for rare diseases and underwrites the National STEM Scholar Program for middle school science teachers inspiring the next generation of STEM pioneers nationwide.

About Blue Origin
Blue Origin, LLC (Blue Origin) is a private company empowered by a vision where millions of people are living and working in space. To achieve our vision, we strive to enable commercial human space transportation by developing reusable rocket engines and launch vehicles that will dramatically lower the cost of access to space. For more information, please visit http://www.blueorigin.com.

About DreamUp
DreamUp provides space-based educational and media services to students and entrepreneurs, with a mission to realize an educational community where space-based research and space-based projects will be available to all students, from primary to post-doctorate, to the International Space Station and beyond. The first company bringing space into the classroom and the classroom into space, DreamUp is uniquely positioned to engage kids globally with the most cutting-edge space research and developments, and inspire them through scientific discoveries in orbital and suborbital space. DreamUp has a proven track record, having brought over 375 student research payloads worldwide to the International Space Station (ISS) through our partnership with NanoRacks and its Space Act Agreement with NASA. For more information, visit http://www.dreamup.org.