The Story of Our Experiment for Space!

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Wow!  The launch date for our experiment for the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is fast approaching!  It seems like just a short time ago we had  “No Gravity Day” and tried to imagine what life would be like without the effects of gravity.  Now our microencapsulation experiment is being readied to fly on the last flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour into orbit!   Click the image of 6th-grader Brandon and he will explain the story of Lincolnwood School District 74’s experiment.  Join us in the countdown!

Launch Scheduled for 2:47 our time this Friday, April 29th!

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Our mentors have sent high magnification pictures of our raw and coated chemcal

The idea behind our experiment is that when a solution of ciprofloxacin (an antibiotic) in water and a solution of polyvinylpyrrolidone (the coating) in water are mixed, the polyvinylpyrollidone (PVP) will come out of solution and coat the tiny particles of ciprofloxacin. This process will happen in orbit and on Earth and the hypothesis is that the coating will be more evenly and more efficiently distributed in the microgravity of space than in gravity.

We sent our chemicals to our mentors Dr. Willie Hendrickson and Dr. Chris Rueb at AVEKA, Inc. and they took pictures under high magnification of the ciprofloxacin particles and then of the ciprofloxacin particles after mixing the them with 4 times as much PVP. These pictures will help us decide the final concentrations of the two chemicals for flight.

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