Grade 12 Kwalikum Secondary student Eryn Goodman shows original patchwork designs that could head to space. - Submitted photo

SD69 students hope to send artwork to space

The winning patches will accompany an experiment designed by five students from Ballenas

Qualicum Beach’s Old School House Arts Centre will be getting a little spacy next week with an exhibit of student art. The images, developed by kindergarten and Grade 1 to 12 students, from across School District 69, are astronaut uniform patch designs and two will be heading to space via the International Space Station (ISS).

The winning patches will accompany an experiment designed by five students from Ballenas Secondary School — Growth Patterns of Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa) Sprouts in Microgravity: A Potential Nourishment for Future Manned Spaceflights.

Both the patches and experiment are part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), an initiative based in the United States. SSEP provided the opportunity and $18,000 of funding, donated by the Karen and Fred Green Fund (held at Vancouver Foundation) and Magellan Aerospace, allowed it to happen.

“It’s wonderful how science and art are coming together for this real-world learning experience,” said Gillian Wilson, SD69 assistant superintendent. “This opportunity has the potential to really influence a student’s direction in learning and in life. Astronauts will conduct the student experiment in space and NASA will provide certificates to verify the patches have been on the ISS. We feel very honoured to have both student artwork and a student science experiment heading for the stars.”

To view the artwork and cast your votes, visit The Old School Arts Centre, 122 Fern Rd. W, between Tuesday, Feb.19 and Saturday, Feb. 23.

The public can cast votes in two categories: kindergarten to Grade 7 and Grade 8 to 12. In both age categories, the artwork, which receives the most votes, will head into space.

— Submitted by SD69

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