Friday, July 26, 2013

Apply now for the 2013-2014 ISS Project!

International Space Station (ISS)

Want to do something out of this world? Join the Girl Scouts of Hawai`i in building your leadership skills and abilities by boarding a MicroLab experiment on the International Space Station (ISS)! Through this project, you will have the opportunity to DISCOVER what you are capable of doing by engaging in conceptualizing, researching, testing, coding, building and documenting a scientific experiment that will run on the ISS; CONNECT with other high school girls from around Oahu as well as mentors and experts who will help you along the way; and TAKE ACTION to highlight a global problem that will help make the world a better place. 

We are now accepting applications for our upcoming Design It! Build It! Launch It! The International Space Station (ISS) Project that starts in September. The deadline to apply is Friday, August 23, 2013. See below for links to the information sheet and application form. For more information on this program, please visit our website, the ISS Blog or the ISS Facebook.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Want to Get Involved in the ISS Project?

About the Design It! Build It! Launch It!: The International Space Station Project

High-school girls are offered a unique and rewarding opportunity through the Girl Scouts of Hawai`i to design, build and launch their very own computer-controlled space science project. Girls are placed into one of five smaller teams: electricalmechanicalpublicrelationssoftware or testing, to learn new skills as they work alongside one another to plan, conceive, develop and test a science experiment, called a MicroLab, which will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS).

2012-2013 ISS Program (read on to know more about the 2013-2014 project)

View the live BLAST OFF here,
Launch coverage: starts at 8:30 a.m. on NASA TV,, and the NASA blog,
Mission: SpaceX 2,
Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9,
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 40
Date: March 1
Time: 10:10 a.m. EST
Description: SpaceX 2 will be the second commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX).
The MicroLab will launch in March 2013 for delivery to the International Space Station (ISS), and stay there for one month. Data will be downloaded from an astronaut’s laptop and sent to Earth for evaluation by the girls.
ISS Article

Get Involved!

Become a (Girl) Participant: For more details about the upcoming 2013-2014 program, please complete a Girl Membership Inquiry Form. (Filling this form denotes interest in the program only, and does not indicate acceptance into the program.)
Become an Adult Volunteer Mentor: Adult volunteer mentors are also needed for the upcoming project. If you have a background/interest in the sciences (including, but not limited to: engineering, programming, etc.), you could provide guidance to the girls throughout the program. Complete an online interest form at

2013-2014 ISS Program Details

Enrollment Period: Stay tuned for more details about how to get involved in the ISS Program for the 2013-2014 school year.
Enrollment Requirements: Participants must be enrolled in either grade 9, 10, 11 or 12 during the participating school year.
Fee: The program fee is $550 per girl. Financial aid is available based on need. For inquiries about the program, including financial aid, please contact Bella Githere at (808) 675-5509 or
Meeting Days and Times: To be a member of the ISS Team, girls must be committed to the yearlong project. Weekly scheduled workshops will be held at the Girl Scouts of Hawai`i office, located on the second floor of the Ala Moana Hotel. Additional hours, as well as visits to other various locations on O`ahu may be required.
Our space station opportunity is made available by Valley Christian Schools (, the Quest Institute for Quality Education ( and NanoRacks, LLC ( via its Space Act Agreement with NASA’s U.S. National Lab.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

2012-2013 ISS Project

The purpose of our 2013 mission was to send a science project into microgravity in a tiny vessel known as a microlab. Our project was sent up to space on the Falcon 9 with many other projects from across the nation. The microlabs collected data for one month aboard the International Space Station (ISS), and crew members sent the data back to Earth periodically.   

We conducted research on the topics we initially brainstormed, then created our project based on the inspiration we derived from the lush environment of Hawaii. The specific method we chose was a hydroponics system to grow microgreen arugula in microgravity. Microgreens were  ideal for our project due to the fact that they are small enough to fit in our tiny microlab, which is around the size of a stick of butter. Microgreens are also rich in nutrients and flavor, a tasty way to increase fresh produce and vitamins in an astronaut's diet! Our hypothesis was that the microgreen arugula  will be physically smaller, and develop a different molecular structure due to the microgravity environment. Through our findings we hope to improve sustainability for explorers in space.  

This block diagram of our microlab (see image above), drawn by our very own Nohea, highlights the unique aspects of our project design including a water bag and valve pressurized by rubber bands, camera, and incubator which cradles the seeds. Two red LEDs, one blue LED, and one white LED provide the necessary light frequencies for optimal plant growth. The sides of our microlab are plastic and have air vents covered by GORE-TEX to ensure that our plant has oxygen and that no water can escape. The small system was designed to provide all the necessary conditions for a microgreen plant to grow to its full potential in the span of one month. 

Our Girl Scouts microlab was installed on the International Space Station on April 3, 2013, and since then we've received many pictures of our project. It was exciting each time we received new pictures from space to monitor our project. To our dismay we did not actually observe any plant growth in the transmitted pictures, but when we had the opportunity to examine our microlab and analyze our results once it returned to earth, we were ecstatic to discover that our seeds had rooted.  
 Although our first space science project did not yield the results we had hoped for, we learned that there are lessons in everything, even failure. The areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is continually advancing, even for girls. Reflecting on her participation in this project, team member Nohea said, "I think all the skills that I've learned in this program will help me a lot in the future." The lessons we learned and memories we made during this past year will definitely last a lifetime.

-Talissa, 2012-2013 ISS Project Communications Guru

Step by step, the ISS team opened up their MicroLab.

A couple of the microgreen arugula seeds started to root!

The ISS team in front of their idea wall at Oceanit.