An experiment from an eighth-grade science class at Lansing Middle School is headed for space.
The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education recently announced that the experiment – “Possible Effects of Microgravity on Development of Dictyostelium discoideum” – has been selected for a mission to the International Space Station in early 2017.
“We’re excited our students got the opportunity to participate in this program which takes a very abstract concept and brings it into the classroom,” said Jennifer Kolb, a science teacher at the school and the co-director of the middle school’s student space program.
Students participating in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program were asked to answer a question in devising their experiment, “What biological, chemical or physical system would you observe in microgravity?”
More than 3,600 students nationwide participated in the challenge, and 685 student proposals were submitted for first-round review.
Only 33 proposals were selected to be evaluated by a Step 2 Review Board. Three proposals from Lansing Middle School advanced to this level.
“Possible Effects …” was submitted by eighth-grade co-principal investigators Aaron Brown, Calista McPherson, Vinay Patel and Geoffrey Stentiford from Stephanie Majors’ class.
“Sodium Retention” was submitted by ninth-grade principal investigator Sarah Wilson and co-investigators Leighann Crutchfield and Grace Slattery in Corinna Lee’s class.
Also in Lee’s class, “Growth of a Plant in a Sodium Polyacrylate-soil Mixture” was submitted by ninth-grade co-principal investigators Martayah Mitchell and Molly Romano with co-investigators Jamie Preston and Victoria Valverde.
Lansing Middle School students also participated in the Art to Space Mission Patch Design Project.
Melody Brooks, a ninth-grade student, designed the winning patch which will also fly to the ISS.
The patch depicts an astronaut on a tethered space walk outside of the shuttle with the earth and sun in the background.