Students design space experiment patches


During the week of February 20-27, students in Berea Community art classes created patches for the space experiment project.

After selecting the experiment that would be tested upon the International Space Station, high school biology teacher Mr. Josh Woodward, the head of the space project, decided to start an art project. The art project would be designing space mission patches for the experiment. He encouraged the art classes to merge with the science classes in order to use their resources and create an interesting project. The competition ran from February 20 through February 27. Judges came from the high school staff as well as community members. Two judged the preliminary rounds and four judged the finalists.

Woodward was inspired by previous mission patches of the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program. When the program was started, the founders realized that every participating school should have a mission patch to keep people aware of the program. This allowed other students who didn’t participate in the actual experiment to be a part of the mission. He explained, “The winning design will likely be turned into an actual patch that we will sell or give away. I imagine the winning design will be framed and hung in the school somewhere.”

Mission patches were designed to fit in a 3.5 inch by 3.5 inch square. Students could submit an unlimited number of patch designs, and both the elementary and middle/high school art teachers worked to ensure that every student could have an equal opportunity. Elementary art teacher Ms. Tina Williams explained, “Students get to choose their art projects. So, they were allowed to use the art studios to produce this piece.”

The project was not graded. According to middle and high school art teacher Ms. Kim Clouse, “Research shows students are actually more creative when not being graded. Their reward lies in being in the running for having a piece of art that’s out of this world!”

There was one winner chosen from the middle and high school and one winner chosen from the elementary school. Freshman Luke Seals won the middle and high school competition, and fifth grader Iris Bailey won the elementary competition. Both of the mission patches will be sent with Berea’s experiment into space.

The winning patch from the elementary: design by fifth grader Iris Bailey
The winning patch from the middle and high school: design by freshman Luke Seals.