Pinecrest Academy Space Coast will be partnering with NASA and join their Student Spaceflight Experiments Program this coming school year.

The SSEP is a United States model STEM Education Initiative for fifth grade through college level grades to inspire the next generation of America's scientists and engineers

The SSEP gives selected students the ability to design and propose real microgravity experiments to fly in low Earth orbit (experiments conducted in a “weightless” environment) aboard the International Space Station.

The SSEP participating school garners extensive media coverage at local, regional and national levels. The participating school is provided a very real flight certified, straightforward to use microgravity research mini-laboratory and guaranteed launch services to transport the mini-laboratory to the International Space Station where it is operated by the astronauts.

All Pinecrest fifth-through eighth-grade students will compete through formal submission of real (but grade level appropriate) research proposals by the student teams — as is standard practice for professional real-world researchers. One student team will be selected from all of the Pinecrest student proposal submissions to design their experiment for transport via a SpaceEx Falcon 9 Rocket to the International Space Station.

Located at 7550 Stadium Parkway in Viera, the STEM and Dual Language school is going into its third year of operation. The school has recently been rated an A school by the Florida Department of Education.

“This is of significance given the challenges of an inaugural year, and in our case, topped off with the COVID pandemic,” Principal Silvia Mijuskovic said. “This, of course, is the outstanding work of our teachers and staff that despite these obstacles, gave it their all in ensuring an excellent education.”

The school also announced that a new building will be built to expand its middle school program.

“We know the dire need of a middle school in the Viera community and we are thrilled to be at the forefront of meeting that need,” Mijuskovic said.

Because of the school’s successes, Mijuskovic said Pinecrest has a waiting list of more than 300 students.

“Again, this is due to the excellence in instructional delivery and the genuine commitment our school takes in ‘teaching the whole child’,” Mijuskovic said

Anyone interested in enrolling their child or wants information about Pinecrest can attend a Back to School Bash from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. The school will have free food, games, school tours and a chance to meet teachers and staff.

For information, visit the school’s website at pinecrestspacecoast.com.