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Frequently Asked Questions

About DreamUp
Researching In Space
DreamUp Curriculum

Q) What is DreamUp?
DreamUp is an educational company dedicated to providing in-space opportunities to non-professionals who’ve never had access to space before – students, teachers and those using crowd-sourcing to fund space projects. We believe that innovation and technological advancement can stem from any small team that is big on ideas but lacks access to space transport and aim to bring the magic of space into the classroom. DreamUp is a subsidiary company of XO Markets, the holding company for Nanoracks, LLC, the market leader for access to low-Earth orbit.
Q) Why should parents, educators, and sponsors support a program with DreamUp?
DreamUp provides opportunities for students and teachers to gain unparalleled real-world STEM experience to engage today’s dreamers and prepare tomorrow’s problem solvers. Global change requires new skill sets that can be learned by participating in engaging science and tech-focused learning experiences. We believe outer space, with its limitless possibilities, has the ability to captivate students like few other subjects. Read more about DreamUp’s impact here.
Q) Is DreamUp a non-profit?
No, DreamUp is a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC). PBCs represent a type of company that incorporates specific goals to provide benefits to the public in its otherwise for-profit mission and functions. Our mission is to provide space-based educational opportunities to all students, in order to enable and inspire the next generation of innovators and explorers.
Q) How old do students have to be to conduct space research with DreamUp?
We welcome innovators of all ages! We’ve flown a number of experiments put together by elementary school students from 2nd grade onwards.

Q) How does DreamUp send research to the International Space Station (ISS)?
A) DreamUp has a partnership with the commercial space company Nanoracks LLC, the market leader for access to low-Earth orbit. Nanoracks operates via a Space Act Agreement with NASA, where NASA provides access to Space Station resources and launch opportunities.

Nanoracks was first to run commercial research platforms on board the station, allowing absolutely anyone with a compelling idea to research in low Earth orbit.

Q) What kind of research can you do in space?
In the past few years, DreamUp and Nanoracks have launched over 400 student experiments to space to study a wide range of topics from plant growth to studies on fireflies in space or developing potential new vaccines in the microgravity environment.
Q) Are there examples of student space research already completed?
A) You can find examples of other students’ research here: What Can I Research?.  But remember, your new or improved ideas and those of your students and the impact that researching them can create are exactly why we’re bringing space-based research to everyone.  

Q) What is a Mixstix?
A) Mixstix are plastic mixing tubes developed for research on the International Space Station. Fluids are separated before they travel to space inside the Mixstix. Once on board the Space Station, the Mixstix is activated by an astronaut, which usually means the fluids are allowed to mix and react (but each experiment has its own instructions for the astronaut to follow depending on the research being conducted). All microgravity reactions and materials are captured for analysis and can be returned to Earth. You can learn more about Mixstix at http://nanoracks.com/products/mixstix/
Q) What is a Nanolab?
A Nanolab is a research box beginning at the standardized size of 10cm x 10cm x 10cm (called a CubeSat form factor). These boxes can be plugged into research platforms via a normal USB port. DreamUp has access to Nanolab research platforms developed for the International Space Station. You can learn more about Nanolabs at http://nanoracks.com/products/nanolabs/

Q) Who can use the DreamUp curriculum?
A) DreamUp’s first curriculum, “Eyes In The Sky: How Satellites Can Promote Social and Environmental Justice,” targets 8th-10th grade, and is recommended for NGSS Integrated Science-1. Learn more about NGSS on the NGSS website and in this CraftEd Curriculum Blog Post titled “What the Next Gen Science Standards offers the Maker Movement”.

Our next curriculum, “Living Your Best Life in Space,” developed in partnership with the National Stem Cell Foundation (NSCF), is targeted towards grades 6-8 and covers science, with math and ELA extensions.

DreamUp is actively developing new curricula with partners to cover wider topics and age ranges. For updates on new materials, sign up for our newsletter here.

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