A team of Jackson Middle School students, led by educator Jennifer Kelley, Portland State University faculty member Dr. Mark Weislogel, and OHSU’s Dr. Erik Gouaux, flew an experiment on space shuttle Endeavor’s final mission as part of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education’s  (NCESSE) Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP).  The experiment, funded in part by the Oregon Space Grant Consortium in collaboration with the Portland Public Schools and Portland State University, utilized NanoRack mini-lab space to study cancer cell proteins in microgravity. The student team members noted that they have a friend with terminal brain cancer and hope, eventually, that their research leads to better treatment for the disease.

“This has been and continues to be an amazing, challenging, stressful, and intensely gratifying experience. The students in our team (and their parents) are really putting their all into the process too.  We have now partnered with Dr. Erik Gouaux at Oregon Health and Science University. His expertise aligns well with the girls' experiment… It’s totally amazing, especially for somebody in middle school, to have a chance to conduct science in space.” – Jennifer Kelley, educator