ODESSA, TX. (NEXSTAR) — In December of 2020, Space X-21 launched SSEP Mission 13 to the International Space Station and along with that were two mission patches designed by two of Odessa’s very own.

“I think it’s just wow.” said Upcoming 8th Grader, Sofia Patino.

“That’s really incredible. It’s crazy to think that it went all the way up to space.” said Amaya Villanueva, who just graduated from Odessa Collegiate Academy, and Upcoming 8th Grader, Sofia Patino both created their drawings with different ideas in mind.

“It’s a school bus and there’s an astronaut hanging out the window, I guess I kind of was inspired by the magic school bus a little bit in my head.” said Villanueva.

“I thought it was pretty cool that it would be going to space because I’m one in 1 million now.” said Patino.

The drawings have since been turned into patches. Gabriela Granado, Communications Specialist for the school district says this was only part of the overall STEM learning experience.

“Oh man it was amazing because it was amazing because it really helped put ECISD and Odessa on the map.” said Granado.

We were one of 36 communities within three different countries. Villanueva says it is an experience she will never forget.

“Yes it’s pretty crazy, I never expected for any of this to happen, so it’s just kind of overwhelming

I’m actually going to major in art when I go to Angelo State.” said Villanueva.

As the STEM curriculum continues for ECISD students, several 9th graders are working with Texas Tech researchers to study water quality as it pertains to colon cancer.

“It really opens a lot of doors for internships, for publications and further research,” said Granado.

Also, Ector County ISD’s summer learning program ‘Camp Sip’ has their 3rd and 4th graders collaborating with Stanford University.

These students are doing water pollution research in Odessa using fold-scopes.