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Milton Hershey School Students’ Out-of-This-World Artwork Travels to Space with NASA

Art projects created by Milton Hershey School fourth-grader Joshua Ferguson and sixth-grader Zoyaboleh (Zoya) Johnson went on a galactic adventure aboard the *Student Spaceflight Experiment Program’s (SSEP) Mission 14. The students’ art is two of the 67 Mission Patches selected for the next flight to the International Space Station.

“I feel like I am actually a part of history,” Zoya said. “My patch was inspired by the possibility of something new and exciting being discovered.”

Zoya Johnson Patch for NASA

Zoya Johnson’s Mission Patch for SSEP.

“This is beyond exciting and an honor to have my patch launched into space by NASA,” Joshua added. “I want to be an astronautical engineer when I grow up and work on spacecrafts.”

Joshua Ferguson, MHS student patch winner

Joshua Ferguson’s Mission Patch for SSEP.

Joshua and Zoya’s projects are a part of history and join the decades-long tradition of Mission Patches dating back to the 1960s when they were created to accompany space flights.

The MHS Mission Patch competition took place in 2019 when Elementary Division students from kindergarten to fourth grade created Mission Patches. After a school-wide vote, Joshua and Zoya’s creations were chosen for the SSEP Mission Patch program.

Three high school students and a female teacher sit in a science classroom at MHS where they experience a STEAM curriculum and problem-based learning.

While the younger students were busy with their art creations, the high school students were working on microgravity experiments that went to the International Space Station on SSEP Mission 13 (those experiments returned to Earth in August of 2019).

“I am extremely happy and proud of the Senior Division students who conducted the experiments and Elementary Division students who created the Mission Patches,” said Brett Stark, MHS Associate Senior Director of Curriculum and Instruction. “This is something that the whole MHS community can be proud of. This project is an excellent example of how MHS provides unique learning opportunities for students.”

Joshua and Zoya watched the launch live in their student homes. When their patch drawings return to Earth after the mission, they will be officially stamped by NASA.

*The SSEP is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S. and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the ISS as a National Laboratory.

Milton Hershey School is carefully following federal and state guidelines, CDC considerations, and MHS-established health and safety protocols to keep our campus a safe, nurturing, and healthy place. Any group photos of unmasked subjects were taken prior to the face coverings mandate.

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.