Lufkin students’ experiment being tested on the International Space Station

Lufkin students’ experiment being tested on the International Space Station

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Two East Texas students are having their work sent on Mission 14 to the International Space Station this winter.

Shariah Jackson and Abdeel McGrew are eighth-graders at Lufkin Middle School who’s flight experiment is scheduled to be sent for testing on the International Space Station in December. The opportunity is part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program and they began preparing last year.

“We have two experiments, one is going into space and one down here on Earth,” Jackson said. “Because there will be no gravity at all whatsoever, and there will be little to no light in space and we’re kind of going to manipulate that down here, but with gravity.”

The student’s proposal, ‘Can Radish Seeds Develop in Microgravity?’ aims to determine if the seeds can successfully grow in weightlessness. Other students in their class also received honorable mentions for their projects. Science and STEM teacher Amy Rush said they first had to have a lesson on microgravity.

“They did their own research, then they had to write a five-page proposal through, SSEP has a specific format that they had to write in and specific things that had to be in that paper for it to be voted on for this project,” Rush said.

The students' experiment will travel in a small container called a Fluid Mixing Enclosure. The experiment on Earth will be conducted within 24 hours of the astronauts doing the same in space. Both students said they are interested in space travel.

“I want to see the earth, the sun, the moon. It’s very surreal to have our project go to the ISS,” McGrew said.

“I’m interested because there is a lot of mysteries that we don’t know about space,” Jackson said. “It would be kind of a fun experience to experience some of the things in space.”

Rush said the students were doing high school and college-level work, and it’s been neat to see how much they’ve learned.

“They really learned a lot and sometimes you don’t get to see that until the ending product. But it’s really exciting to see that my students have learned so much and that they are excited about what they did,” Rush said.

The students are packaging the experiment tomorrow for it to be sent on the mission, which is scheduled to leave December 2, and will be in orbit for 4 to 6 weeks before returning to Earth.

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