The Journey

Kids sending beans to space

DreamUp to Space

DreamUp provides space-based education to students and entrepreneurs. The first company bringing space into the classroom and the classroom into space, DreamUp is uniquely positioned to engage kids globally with the most cutting-edge space research and developments, and inspire them through scientific discoveries in orbital and suborbital space. DreamUp has a proven track record, having brought over 400 student research payloads worldwide to the International Space Station (ISS), working with student groups around the globe to ensure their experiments are approved for and manifested on SpaceX and Orbital rockets for launch to the ISS. DreamUp’s team of experts has integrated hundreds of payloads through our special relationship with launch services provider NanoRacks and their Space Act agreement with NASA that allows access to the most advanced platforms on board the ISS.

iLEAD Student Aerospace Projects

With iLEAD’s DreamUp to Space Experiment Design Challenge, a project developed in partnership with DreamUp spinoff NanoRacks, learners in grades 5-12 are invited to apply to join one of two DreamUp to Space Launch Teams, featuring experiments designed by learners at SCVi and iLEAD Exploration!

Selected team members will run experiments in preparation for the actual experiments that will launch to space to be run by astronauts on the International Space Station with a target date of March 2021.

Team members will collaborate with facilitators and mentors at each stage. They’ll also be involved in promoting their mission, including creating videos and writing blogs. They’ll fund-raise for experiment-related expenses as well as the chance to travel with their families to Kennedy Space Center, where they could present their experiment and watch it blast to space!

The Journey

For a team of 5th to 7th Grade students (ages 11 to 14), designing an experiment that will actually be sent to space is a tremendously exciting opportunity.

Through this page, we will continue documenting our journey, from the initial experiment design, project proposal and selection, to the post-flight analysis. We hope this will be useful and encourage others to start their own journey of learning and discovery!

And yes...there is a definite Star Wars theme here...may the Force be with you!

DreamUp to Space Virtual Mission 2019-2020

MAY 2020 - This project started with the 2020 DreamUp to Space Virtual Mission Experiment Design Challenge, which challenges young people to understand and explore the impact that Microgravity has on matter by asking the question:

“What is the effect of Microgravity on living and nonliving things?”

Through a partnership with DreamUp, learners are inspired and empowered to develop the skills and knowledge to design, develop, and propose an experiment that could be run on the International Space Station.

Experiment Design Challenge

The program is designed to give learners the building blocks needed to design a project proposal.

Through guided activities, they are challenged to understand some of the following:

  • The International Space Station mission as a space laboratory, including the worldwide collaboration and its relative location to the Earth and in our solar system

  • Why astronauts float and the impact of Microgravity on living a nonliving matter without the force of gravity experienced on Earth

  • How scientists think and work, including the scientific method/process and the importance of setting up and conducting an experiment that will result in reliable data

  • Proposal writing and the ability to communicate effectively

Project Proposal

JUNE 2020 - After going through the guided activities and learning a lot about space and space exploration, we were challenged to design our own experiment. This involved researching projects that have previously been conducted on the space shuttles and on the ISS, and coming-up with a novel and useful experiment. We also learned a lot about writing proposals, communicating ideas and creating presentations.

The outcome was a project proposal presentation, as well as well as a pitch video. And then...waiting for the selection results!

Quentin Adzuki beans experiment

Project Selection

JULY 22, 2020 - After being reviewed by a panel of scientists, two projects selected for flight in the 2020 DreamUp to Space Virtual Mission & Experiment Design Challenge. These are the experiments that will head to the International Space Station (ISS) with a targeted date of March 2021.

Team Selection

OCTOBER, 2020 - Since only two of the projects were selected, other students were given an opportunity to apply to join these teams to help with the next steps in this journey. Since the teams could unfortunately not accept all applicants, the final selection was conducted by placing small groups in a Virtual escape room, to evaluate everyone's problem solving abilities and more importantly their ability to work as a team.

Let's grow beans!

NOVEMBER 2020 - Now that we have a team, it's time to sprout some Adzuki beans!

Our first attempt at growing Adzuki beans didn't go so well, but after following our advisor's method, we were able to sprout beans! However...still no luck sprouting them in the mixstix.

This part of the process is called "experiment optimization", finding the optimal conditions for the experiment. Now learning a lot about sprouting beans!


FEBRUARY 2021 - Another key task that the team had to work on is the fundraising phase.

Sending anything to space is a costly endeavor, and this experiment is no exception. Sending a single mixstix to space costs $12,000. Crash course in marketing!

Team Pitch Video

While the school was able to obtain grants for part of this expense, the team had to start a fundraising campaign to gather the rest. The process started with an elevator pitch, and a new team pitch video.

We're on a roll!

APRIL 2021 - Thanks to some amazing teamwork and some very generous donors, we have reached our fundraising goal.

Our experiment is going to Space, Go Team!!!

The "experiment optimization" is still ongoing.

Experiment ready

MAY 10, 2021 - Mixstix loading event!

This marks the end of the "experiment optimization". The team has defined what we believe is the optimal substrate, fluid quantity and number and layout of the beans for the experiment.

The official mixstix was received from Nanoracks, and the team gathered for the first time (remember...COVID-19!) to load the actual experiment.

Ready for launch!

The official mixstix has now been shipped to Nanoracks in Florida so that they can load it onto the SpaceX Dragon capsule.

Ad the stars! ...and may the Force be with you!

Even though the COVID situation seems to be slowly improving, we still don't know if the team will be able to attend the launch at Kennedy Space Center.

Rocket Launch Scheduled: June 3, 2021 | SpaceX Falcon 9 CRS-22

Launch time: 1729 GMT (1:29 p.m. EDT)

Launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

SpaceX Falcon 9 CRS-22


The 22nd commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station lifts off from Space Launch Complex 39A aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. The Dragon cargo spacecraft will deliver supplies and science investigations, including studies on kidney disease treatments, cotton root systems, tardigrades' adaptation to space, and more.

Conference Presentation

MAY 22, 2021 - Members of the team presented our project at the Space4Youth conference: The Making of Young Space Entrepreneurs Who Will Change the World. A recording of the event is available on LinkedIn.

SpaceConneX, in collaboration with Out of the Box, Ilead Student of Aerospace Projects and Society for Space Education Research and Development (SSERD), organized the third Space4Youth Show.

8 young people from Israel, Italy and USA will present their innovative ideas and projects on space as a tool to benefit humanity on and off earth. In this episode we feature the work of young space people to be more creative and entrepreneurial, how to start a process to do something good for humanity and realize that teens can make a difference in the world through space entrepreneurship.

We invite all parents and space actors to support #Space4Youth: 'The Making of Young Space Entrepreneurs who will change the World ', so that together we connect, collaborate and engage youth everywhere, and catalyze young people’s natural affinity with and understanding of technology to fully leverage digital technologies in our efforts to achieve equitable access to space education for all.

The current times demand urgency, ambition, and bold actions in support of our stellar guests:

  • Francesca Amicil and Idan Hai, Roxygen - Producing Oxygen On The Moon;

  • Idan Cohen and Arianna Propoggia, B.A.I.S, Aquaponics Aystem in Space;

  • Hutch Siegan and James Walker, What is the effect of microgravity on Daucus carota (carrot seeds)

  • Quentin Gauge and Grace Stumpf, Sending Mung Beans to Space

SpaceX CRS-22

Our experiment is being launched as part of SpaceX CRS-22, also known as SpX-22, which is a Commercial Resupply Service mission to the International Space Station with a planned launch at 17:29 UTC on 3 June 2021. The mission is contracted by NASA and will be flown by SpaceX using a Cargo Dragon.

The total mission payload is 3,328 kg (7,337 lb).

  • Science investigations: 920 kg (2,030 lb)

  • Vehicle hardware: 345 kg (761 lb)

  • Crew supplies: 341 kg (752 lb)

  • Spacewalk equipment: 52 kg (115 lb)

  • Computer resources: 58 kg (128 lb)

  • External payloads: 1,380 kg (3,040 lb)

To learn more:

Kennedy Space Center

June 3, 2021, 9:30 am EDT - Members of the team arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for this memorable event!

Presentation in Journey to Mars Theatre

June 3, 2021, 11 am EDT - Members of the team presented their project to the public in the Journey to Mars Theatre at the Kennedy Space Center. This event was organized by the ISS National Lab, and opened to the public. In the afternoon, the team followed with a poster presentation.


June 3, 2021, 1:29 pm EDT - Members of the team gathered northeast of the Space Shuttle Atlantis Building at the Kennedy Space Center to watch their experiment be launched to space. What a magnificent show!

Dragon Docking

June 5, 2021, 09:09 UTC - The fully autonomous Rendezvous and Docking of the SpaceX CRS-22 Dragon Cargo Ship to the ISS was completed, our experiment will be unloaded in the next hour!

Astronaut Interaction

June 7, 2021, 11:10 GMT - Nanoracks reported that ISS Crew Member Astronaut Megan McArthur performed the mixstix crew interactions on-orbit this morning. The crew reported all ops were nominal.

This step opened the first clamp of our mixtix, allowing the water to mix with the beans and moisten the substrate, and officially starting our experiment.

Control Group

June 8, 2021, 7:10 am EST - The control group, which is a second mixstix with an identical configuration to the one sent to the Space Station, was activated about 24 hours after the Astronaut Interaction by the project's Principal Investigator.

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