1034 W Ann Arbor Trail
Plymouth, MI 48170
Non-Profit Education Outreach 501(c)(3)
For more than fourteen years, Orion’s Quest has employed authentic space-based research to reach and inspire the next generation of explorers. Utilizing the processes and tools of world-class scientists, Orion’s Quest students actively support and engage in ongoing research currently being conducted in laboratories on Earth and in orbit. Available educational programs include elementary, middle school, high school, and teacher training.
There is no charge to participate in the Orion’s Quest Program. Student “missions” are developed in collaboration with scientists and with the support of engineers, technicians and other collaborators. OQ missions, which typically last 3-5 class periods, address national standards and are available online at no cost to teachers who enroll in the program.
A classroom curriculum is custom developed for each mission. After selecting appropriate research, Orion’s Quest works closely with the sponsoring Principal Investigator (PI) to identify areas for student support. From this, a “mini-curriculum” is created that meets the needs of the sponsoring PI while addressing required educational goals and objectives of the classroom. Finally, digital video and/or images of both the space-based experiment and the Earth-based control experiment are provided to the classroom, where students engage in research activities centered around image analysis. Results from the classroom activity are submitted to the PI for review and inclusion in databases where appropriate.
The Current Research Mission is an experiment that’s actually happening on the Space Station as the right now. Students work with near-real-time data and support an active research project.
Virtual Research Missions (Formerly Live Missions) are past missions for which OQ has archived the experimental data and custom-designed curriculum. Although these experiments are no longer onboard the ISS, students still get to work with real ISS data and send their results to the PIs.
Current Research Mission: Stem Cell Studies on Station
This new mission is the second of two OQ stem cell studies being conducted onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Principal Investigator Dr. Abba Zubair developed this experiment to study the proliferation of non-embryonic stem cells expansion in microgravity and to compare the space-based cells with Earth-based cells. Dr. Zubair hopes to find ways to help fight cancer, prevent organ transplant rejection, and repair damage caused by stroke for patients here on Earth. Students participating in this mission will support Dr. Zubair by viewing proprietary research photos from the space-based and ground-based experiments in order to do cell counts and cell density analysis. Learn more about Dr. Zubair’s research from this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBO0YndkgGA
Virtual Research Missions:
- STEM on Station
- Managing Microbes in Space
- Plant Growth in Space
- Spiders in Space
- Fruit Flies in Space
- Butterflies in Space
- Silicate Gardens in Space
- Worms in Space