CSA Project Nominated for DreamUp to Space Launch

CSA Project Nominated for DreamUp to Space Launch

We’re excited to announce the top proposal in Colorado SKIES Academy’s DreamUp to Space Mission & Experiment Design Challenge for 2021-22!

Proposals and videos from six finalist teams were reviewed by a panel of assessors, with one team selected for flight to the International Space Station in May 2022. Team Activated Charcoal, the selected team, is interested in studying the effect that microgravity may have on the antibacterial properties of activated charcoal.

The team hypothesizes that the activated charcoal will “trap” bacteria at a slightly lower efficiency in space than on earth. They base their hypothesis on the fact that some bacteria have an accelerated growth rate in microgravity and higher immunity to antibiotics.

Ike Cohn, 8th grade, is the Principal Investigator for this experiment. He enjoys building computers/robots, studying space exploration, and hanging out with his family. Ike noted how excited he is about this opportunity as it provides him with a chance to have an experiment sent up to space and gain connections to professionals. He also noted that he’s progressed in his ability to manage time to complete larger projects.

This year’s mission was offered onsite at two Maker Learning Network schools, Colorado Skies Academy and Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School. 7th and 8th-grade facilitators led their learners through DreamUp to Space Experiment Design Challenge. These skillful facilitators were instrumental in delivering inspiring and impactful project-based learning experiences.

The multi-grade endeavor was supported by CSA Director Anne Wodetzki, Director of STEAM Initiatives Kathleen Fredette, and STEAM Project Specialist Shawna Brown, along with Makers Kendra Scanlon, Nicole Huguenin, and Linda Krystek.

Parents Steve and Alexa Cohn noted: “We are so incredibly proud of Ike.  He has shown his teachers, his classmates, his friends, his family and most importantly himself what he can achieve!  We are so thankful for his teachers and mentors who have shown tremendous patience and an astounding ability to teach at this level. This experience with iLEAD’s DreamUp to Space program has changed Ike’s life. We are grateful for his opportunity to push himself, use organizational and time management skills and to compete in a stacked field.  It is an experience none of us will ever forget! Congratulations to all of the participants and to Ike: our creative, inquisitive, kind and smart young man who continues to impress us and make us all so proud!”


“This is my second year teaching Ike and ‘Amazing’ is an understatement to describe how much growth Ike has shown in the last year and a half.” said Lucy Howlett, Ike’s Science and DreamUp to Space facilitator. “In 7th grade, he was a shy, quiet student who struggled with deadlines. This year, especially during DreamUp to Space, he demonstrated tremendous perseverance and drive — all 8th grade facilitators were blown away. We knew he was capable and this time, he met and exceeded his goals. I am so excited to continue working with Ike and very impressed with his work ethic and tenacity.”

CSA Director Anne Wodetski said: “The DreamUp to Space Experiment Design Challenge was a transformational project to run at CSA. Learners showed perseverance, teamwork, and critical thinking while crafting their proposals. I can’t thank the 7th and 8th-grade teams enough for their dedication in delivering this once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity to the learners at CSA. We are thrilled to have Team Activated Charcoal represent our community at the SpaceX25 rocket launch next year.”

“I am so proud to stop, pause and share the excitement this milestone represents — from the enthusiastic implementation of DreamUp to Space throughout grades 7 and 8  to the team selection and announcement! This project reflects CSA’s amazing vision to engage and inspire young people through aerospace. I hope to see you in Florida for the launch — go team Activated Charcoal!” said Kathleen Fredette, Director of STEAM Initiatives.

“Colorado Skies Academy motto states, “The sky is not the limit when our imaginations are unlimited!” The DreamUp to Space Experiment Design Challenge showcased learner imagination on a whole new level! The inspiring proposals designed at CSA produced authentic research questions which could be critical in making space exploration a reality. Learners having access to an authentic, empowering opportunity like this in the 7th & 8th grade is truly unique. Congratulations, Team Activated Charcoal!” noted Shawna Brown, STEAM Project Specialist.

Project partner Lauren Milord, DreamUp Director of Programs, said, “Congratulations to Team Activated Charcoal! DreamUp looks forward to seeing how your experiment preparations progress over the next few months, and even more, we look forward to seeing your hard work pay off when your experiments launch to the International Space Station next year.”

The finalists were reviewed by a panel of assessors composed of scientists and aerospace experts. The selection process took into account the teams’ written proposals, video submissions, and responses to questions regarding how they will use this opportunity to share with other learners, families, and the community.

The next phase of the journey gives selected teams the opportunity to create a “DreamUp Launch Team.” The team leaders are tasked with offering the opportunity for CSA learners to apply to be part of the launch team, which includes experiment optimization, outreach, and fundraising. If all goes well, our teams will have the opportunity to present their experiment design at Kennedy Space Center prior to the launch.

Colorado SKIES Academy

Colorado SKIES Academy

Colorado SKIES Academy is a free public charter school authorized by the Cherry Creek School District, open to students throughout the Arapahoe County and Douglas County areas. This STEAM middle school serving grades 6-8 is located at Centennial Airport next to Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight.
Colorado SKIES Academy

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