2014 SSEP National Conference – Student Team Oral Presentations

Last update of this page: June 20, 2014, 10:40 am ET
Information still to be determined (if any) is in RED TEXT below.

This page provides descriptions of all 29 oral presentations by student teams at the 2014 SSEP National Conference. All teams need to submit a description of their presentation via email to John Hamel by 5:00 pm ET, June 15, 2014, using the Oral Presentation Template that is downloadable below. Submission earlier than the deadline would be greatly appreciated.

Also found below is a sample of an oral presentation description. As you compose your oral presentation description, note that your presentation Abstract has a strict 80 word limit.

 

SAMPLE ORAL PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION

San Marino, California
School and/or District: San Marino High School
Grade levels of Team: 11

Title: Fibroblast Division in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 3 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Jennifer Jiang, Jasmine Kuo, and Kara Lukas

Teacher Facilitator: Wyeth Collo

Abstract: The purpose of the experiment is to observe the effect of microgravity on cell division to see whether the lack of gravity will have a positive, negative, or neutral effect on growth. Cell division is an integral part of life, a process which all multicellular organism must go through. The cells chosen for the experiment are fibroblasts, which play a critical role in the healing of wounds.

Download Oral Presentation Template (MS Word Document)

 

 

Oral Presentations for the 2014 SSEP National Conference

Oral 1. San Marino, CA, Team 1
School and/or District: San Marino High School/San Marino Unified School District
Grade levels of Team: 11

Title: Envelope Glycoprotein 120 Structure in the Presence of Micro-Gravity

Type of Experiment: Semi-Finalist Proposal, Mission 6 to ISS

Principal Investigator: Dannie Zhabilov
Co-Investigator: Bradley Pelham
Collaborator: Samantha Yee

Teacher Facilitator: Wyeth Collo

Abstract: The objective of this experiment is to determine whether or not there is change in the structure of envelope glycoprotein 120 in the presence of micro-gravity. This protein, found on the surface of HIV-1, is crucial to the process of binding HIV-1 to T-cells. With a change in structure, the protein might not have the same binding capabilities as it would normally.

 

Oral 2. Hilo/Waiakea, HI
School and/or District: Waiakea Intermediate School
Grade levels of Team: 6

Title: Does Microgravity Affect the Growth of a Glycine max Plant?

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 3b to ISS

Principal Investigator: Josh Ebesugawa

Teacher Facilitator: Gregg Yonemori

Abstract: The purpose of this experiment is to determine if microgravity affects seed growth. If it is determined that microgravity allows for seed growth, plants can be grown in space as a renewable food source, making food supplies less of an issue. These plants will also recycle carbon dioxide and release oxygen. A hybrid of Glycine max seeds which were developed at the University of Hawaii at Manoa were chosen for this experiment.

 

Oral 3. Rockland County, NY
School and/or District: South Orangetown Central School District
Grade levels of Team: 4 and 5

Title: Lettuce in Space

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 5 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Zachary Visconti, Colm Shalvey, and Luke Rabinowitz

Teacher Facilitator: Kristy Nadler

Abstract: The purpose of the experiment is to see if lettuce will germinate in microgravity. After the experiment we will observe if microgravity will have a positive, negative, or neutral effect on growth. We will compare the sample from the ISS to our ground truth by observing germination from both tubes. If the lettuce germinates in microgravity astronauts can eat lettuce on long space flights. This will provide the astronauts the opportunity to eat fresh vegetables while on extended space voyage.

 

Oral 4. Rochester, NY
School and/or District: Rochester Early College International High School
Grade levels of Team: 12

Title: Live and Rehydrated Tardigrades in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 4 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Cheyanne Jeffrey and Vicki-Ann
Aman

Teacher Facilitator: Mary Courtney

Abstract: The purpose of our experiment is to observe the effect of microgravity on live tardigrades and tardigrades reactivated in space. Tardigrades are known for their capabilities in surviving in the most extreme living conditions such as hot and cold temperatures, high levels of radiation, boiling alcohol and even high pressure. Tardigrades undergo a process where they go into a temporary dormant state called cryptobiosis. We will be comparing for any structural and behavioral differences between the two experiments.

 

Oral 5. Brookhaven, MS
School and/or District: Brookhaven Academy
Grade levels of Team: 12

Title: Polyhydroxyalkanoate Production in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 5 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Ashlea Bardwell, Samantha Barton, Garrett Smith, Ruth Vaughan, and Lindsey Winborne

Teacher Facilitator: Leslie Hood

Abstract: This experiment will assess whether  the bacteria Ralstonia eutropha can produce Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) when exposed to microgravity. PHA is a biodegradable polyester, which is a short chain composed of methyl or ethyl. The bacteria that will produce PHA in this experiment will be Ralstonia eutropha. The bacteria produces PHA through bacterial fermentation, which is a process that breaks down the carbon source and nutrient broth leaving behind pellets of PHA, or plastic.

 

Oral 6. Traverse City, MI
School and/or District: Traverse City West Senior High School
Grade levels of Team: 12

Title: Response of Antibiotics and Bacteria in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 3b to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Paxton Ellul, Ashley Miller, and Haley Dole
Co-Investigators: Paxton Ellul, Ashley Miller, and Haley Dole

Teacher Facilitator: Patrick Gillespie

Abstract: A bacterial infection could lead to a catastrophe aboard the ISS. To prevent bacterial infections and illness during space travel it is important to know how bacteria growth and antibiotics respond together in microgravity. In this experiment a skin bacteria, staphylococcus epidermidis, was grown aboard the ISS, exposed to an antibiotic, cephalexin, and then compared to a control experiment on Earth. The bacteria was analyzed and no viable cultures were found although there were notable visual differences between the samples.

 

Oral 7. New York City, NEST+m, NY, Team 1
School and/or District: New Explorations in Science, Technology, and Math (NEST+m), NYC Department of Education
Grade levels of Team: 5

Title: What is the effect of microgravity on mold growth on white bread?

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 5 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Noor Ajam, Foyez Alauddin, and Alexander Harris
Collaborators: Emma Alatzas, Ella Briman, Sarah Caba, Lucy Cantor, Elisa Carrillo, Samantha Chan, Sydney Cardieri, Hana Cruz, Benjamin Ebanks, Elana Field, Jack Geyer, Zander Grier, Meredith Griffin, Oscar Johnson, Liam Kronman, Jonathan Leybungrub, Jonathan Lim, Noah Mack, Macy McGrail, Haylie Parrilla, Tristan Pragnell, Elijah Shapiro, Ryo Shimosato, Jeron Wilkinson, and Nora Youngelson

Teacher Facilitator: Margaux Stevenson

Abstract: The purpose of this experiment is to see the effect of microgravity on mold growth on white bread. For this experiment, a sample of white bread and formalin has been loaded into a FME Type 2 tube. The results of the ground element and microgravity element will be measured by the area of the mold on the white bread in square inches. The color of the mold and the color of the white bread will also be observed.

 

Oral 8. North Charleston, SC, Team 2
School and/or District: Palmetto Scholars Academy, South Carolina Public Charter School District
Grade levels of Team: 10 and 12

Title: How Does Spaceflight Affect the Formation of Tin Whiskers on Lead-Free Solder?

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 6

Co-Principal Investigators: Joseph Garvey and Rachel Lindbergh
Co-Investigator: Gabriel Voigt

Teacher Facilitator: Kellye Voigt

Abstract: Tin whiskers are crystalline structures that originate from metals and are a modern problem that can occur with lead-free solder, potentially leading to short circuits on satellites, planes, and other spacecraft. In this experiment a tin solder test bed and a soldered circuit board will be sent to the International Space Station to determine the effect of spaceflight on lead-free solder. The mass, length, structure, and density of whisker formations will be analyzed after the experiment’s return.

 

Oral 9. Howard County, MD

School and/or District: Lime Kiln Middle School
Grade levels of Team: 8

Title: The Effect of Microgravity on Chryseobacterium Aquiticum

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 3a to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Greg Nelson, Josh Choi, Sofia Novacic, and Ryan Olsen

Teacher Facilitators: Ella Jordan, Lauren Landerman

Abstract: The goal of this project was to determine if bacteria could grow and prosper in an environment of microgravity. We selected Chryseobacterium Aquiticum because it secreted a natural antifungal that could potentially enhance plant growth in future missions. Once on the international space station the bacteria underwent the same procedure as the bacteria on Earth. When the bacteria arrived back on Earth, we concluded that Chryseobacterium Aquiticum both survived and grew better in space.

 

Oral 10. Pleasanton and Callaway, NE
School and/or District: Pleasanton High School
Grade levels of Team: 12

Title: Kidney Stone Growth in Space

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 3b to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Breann Zimmer and Kara Dauel

Teacher Facilitator: Alison Buescher

Abstract: The purpose of the experiment is to observe the effects of microgravity on the structure of calcium oxalate crystals, which have the same chemical composition as kidney stones. The experiment compared calcium oxalate crystals formed in microgravity to those grown on Earth. Kidney stones have become a recent health concern for returning astronauts and could be one of the concerns for future space exploration.

 

Oral 11. Kansas City, MO, Team 1
School and/or District: St. Peter’s School (Kansas City – St. Joseph Diocese)
Grade levels of Team: 8

Title: Oxidation in Space

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 5 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Tone’Nae Bradley-Toomer, Zoe Butler, Anna Campbell, and Maureen Egan

Teacher Facilitator: Robert Jacobsen

Abstract: The team would like to determine the effect of microgravity upon the process of oxidation. This experiment is being conducted because in the ISS, there is the presence of free-floating water that could damage (via oxidation or corrosion) its metal components. The oxidation of an iron nail will be studied as water is added to its section of the tube. The team is looking to determine if oxidation occurs faster, slower, or at all because of microgravity.

 

Oral 12. Jefferson County, KY
School and/or District: Jefferson County Public Schools
Grade levels of Team: 9-12

Title: The effects of microgravity on the fermentation of honey using yeast

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 5 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Jacob Boeschel, Peyton Adelmann, and Elizabeth Bates
Co-Investigators: Deandre Curry, Alex Martin, Anthony Watson, Lance Winemiller, and Jay-Cee Vance
Collaborators: Brittany Jarboe and Miranda Strane-Harris

Teacher Facilitator: Imogen Herrick

Abstract: The purpose of this experiment is to test the effects of microgravity on rate of the fermentation using yeast and honey. This experiment will help us determine if a microgravity environment will affect the fermentation rate of a highly viscous sugar source in yeast. The possibility of an increased rate of reaction in microgravity could be beneficial on the ISS. Fermentation reactions have a myriad of uses for the astronauts on the ISS, especially antiseptics for wounds and cleaning supplies.

 

Oral 13. North Attleborough, MA
School and/or District: North Attleborough Middle School, North Attleborough Public Schools
Grade levels of Team: 6

Title: Will the regeneration of a planarian worm be affected by microgravity?

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 5 to ISS

Principal Investigator: Christopher April
Co-Investigators: Lily Wetherbee and David Pacitto

Teacher Facilitator: Jennifer Murphy

Abstract: The purpose of the experiment is to observe the effect of microgravity on planarian worm regeneration to determine if a microgravity environment will have an effect on regeneration. Planarian regeneration on Earth naturally occurs in the wild, and under normal gravitational conditions. The long term value of this experiment could affect what we will learn about the rate of healing a human injury in microgravity. The species of Planarian that were chosen for this experiment were Dugesia.

 

Oral 14. Teachers in Space, Space Frontier Foundation, Team 2
School and/or District: Milton L. Olive Middle School, Wyandanch Union Free School District
Grade levels of Team: 7 and 8

Title: Affected Efficacy of a Sprayed Enamel Coating as a Corrosion Inhibitor

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 5 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Alayna Appolon and Zaire McQueen

Teacher Facilitator: David B. Milch

Abstract: During interplanetary travel, protecting resources is vital. This experiment compares a protective enamel spray paint’s coating thickness before and after exposure to an acidic solution through experiments conducted simultaneously on Earth and on the International Space Station. Experiment design gives identical acid exposure times in both environments. We hypothesize that the enamel coating on the ISS will be damaged more due to subatomic particles that are more abundant in space and the chemical reaction being less restricted by gravity.

 

Oral 15. Oakland, CA
School and/or District: Oakland Unified School District
Grade levels of Team: 6

Title: Composting in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 6

Co-Principal Investigators: Cithlali Hernandez, Jose Morga, and Kevin Cruz

Teacher Facilitator: Julia Lehman

Abstract: Our question is can Eisenia Fetida compost in microgravity? We will send Eisenia Fetida to the ISS with water, soil and egg shell. We will use a soil tester to test the soil composition before and after the space flight. We will compare this to a control experiment on the ground. If it works it would the ISS could save space by composting food waste, and possibly use the food waste as rich soil for new plants.

 

Oral 16. Downingtown, PA
School and/or District: Downingtown S.T.E.M Academy
Grade levels of Team: 10

Title: Microencapsulation in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 4 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Miranda McMillan and Christina Murray
Co-Investigators: Jenni Faust and Meghan Joyce
Collaborators: Connor McGrath, Cecilia Padilla, Avni Gulrajani, and Santina Zouras

Teacher Facilitator: Eric Daney

Abstract: The purpose of this experiment was to observe how microgravity affects the dissolution of the microencapsulated extended release medication, Aleve. The microencapsulated Naproxen, the active ingredient in the drug, was released into a solution of hydrochloric acid, deionized water, sodium chloride, and potassium chloride. Comparing the concentration of dissolved Naproxen in space and on Earth determined the strength of microencapsulation in microgravity. Discovering these effects demonstrates the influence of gravity on the function of microencapsulated medicine.

 

Oral 17. Highlands Ranch, CO
School and/or District: STEM School and Academy, Douglas County School District
Grade levels of Team: 6

Title: What Are the Effects of Creation of Beer in Microgravity and is it Possible?

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 4 to ISS

Principal Investigator: Michal Bodzianowski

Teacher Facilitator: Sharon Combs

Abstract: By combining the four main ingredients of beer in space, how much alcohol will be produced? If an emergency occurred, alcohol would disinfect polluted water, and that is cheaper than purifying it with standard procedures. Alcohol kills bacteria, and it can also be used medically to disinfect wounds. The results are useful for medical and financial purposes. The experiment is easy to conduct with limited interactions. It was designed to test differences in fermentation alcohol levels between Earth and space.

 

Oral 18. Kansas City, MO, Team 2
School and/or District: St. Peter’s School (Kansas City – St. Joseph Diocese)
Grade levels of Team: 7

Title: Biocides and Bacteria

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 6 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Nicole Ficklin, Holden O’Keefe, and Eamon Shaw

Teacher Facilitator: Robert Jacobsen

Abstract: Microbes are present on the ISS; if there were to be an outbreak of a harmful strain of bacteria on the ISS, it would be imperative to eliminate the strain as completely as possible. For this reason, the co-investigators would like to determine the amount of E. coli (K-12 strain) bacteria eliminated by the antibacterial cleaning agent, liquid iodine, over a period of three days of growth in the two environments, the microgravity of the ISS versus Earth’s gravity.

 

Oral 19. Kalamazoo, MI
School and/or District: St. Monica Catholic School/ Diocese of Kalamazoo
Grade levels of Team: 8

Title: The Effects of Microgravity on Branchinecta Anostraca

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 6 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Mackenzie Ortlieb, Delaney Hewitt, and Natalie Moyer
Co-Investigator: Grace Brennan

Teacher Facilitator: Diane Page

Abstract: The purpose of our experiment is to see if Dry Lake Fairy Shrimp, Branchinecta Anostraca, can hatch and develop in microgravity. Specifically, we want to observe how their muscles develop. Using the data we gather, we will try to see if there are any connections between the shrimps’ muscle development (if there is any at all) and the astronauts’ muscle loss in an environment with microgravity.

 

Oral 20. San Marino, CA, Team 2
School and/or District: San Marino High School
Grade levels of Team: 11

Title: Cycloastragenol in Microgravity: Its Effects on Telomerase Activation and Telomere Longevity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (the “Instant” Strain of Baker’s Yeast)

Type of Experiment: Finalist Experiment, Mission 6 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Sarah Higdon, Sharmayne Siu, Lauren Takeyama, and Kyra Yamamoto
Collaborators: Misako Benso, Katherine Cheng, Monica De Jesu, Gillian Ferguson, Charmayne Floyd, and Avishan Nikoui-Smith

Teacher Facilitator: Wyeth Collo

Abstract: The purpose of our experiment is to test the effects of the Cycloastragenol drug on telomerase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (“instant” strain of baker’s yeast) and to qualify whether the telomerase works more rapidly in microgravity. We predict the absence of gravity will enable the telomerase to lengthen the telomeres at a faster speed because there will be less force acting against the Cycloastragenol to activate the telomerase and less force acting upon the telomerase as it rebuilds the yeasts’ telomeres.

 

Oral 21. Hillsborough County, FL
School and/or District: FishHawk Creek Elementary, Hillsborough County Public Schools
Grade levels of Team: 5

Title: Will microgravity affect the germination/growth of lettuce seeds?

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 5 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Miranda Corbo, Srinidhi Raghavan, and Isabelle Utsler

Teacher Facilitator: Mary Vaughn

Abstract: The purpose of the experiment is to observe the effect of microgravity on the growth/germination of lettuce seeds. Our experiment will measure for the rate of the germination of lettuce seeds. Seed germination is so critical and not very well understood in microgravity. Lettuce and other vegetables will expand the in-orbit food capabilities and will allow for astronauts to have fresh food.

 

Oral 22. Colleton County, SC
School and/or District: Colleton County Middle School
Grade levels of Team: 6

Title: Milk in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 6 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Amber Avant, Bailey Crosby, Morgan Dandridge, Megan Dewitt, and Casey Powell

Teacher Facilitator: Ann Rice Henson, Carolyn Dalton

Abstract: The purpose of the experiment is to observe the effect of microgravity on milk spoilage to see whether the lack of gravity will have any more, less or the same amount of spoilage in milk. Milk spoilage is a fact of life here in Earth’s gravity. The milk chosen for the experiment is Horizon, ultra-pasteurized, for its 99.9% bacteria free which provides for a longer shelf life.

 

Oral 23. Berkeley Heights, NJ
School and/or District: Columbia Middle School, Berkeley Heights, NJ
Grade levels of Team: 7

Title: Baby Bloodsuckers in Outer Space

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 6 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Julia Ellis, Kasia Kapustka, Gia LaSalle, Bianca Urbina, and Lilyana Walsh

Teacher Facilitator: Pamela Wilczynski

Abstract: Our experiment will compare the development of mosquito eggs in microgravity with development on Earth. Astronauts will commence fertilization in outer space by releasing water on dry eggs, then fix and preserve the mosquitoes nine days later. Without gravity we believe the larvae will lack a mechanism to rise to the surface of the water to breathe and therefore will fail to mature into pupae. We will observe the differences between both specimens from Earth and space.

 

Oral 24. North Charleston, SC, Team 1
School and/or District: Palmetto Scholars Academy, South Carolina Public Charter School District
Grade levels of Team: 9

Title: How Does Microgravity Affect the Oxidation of Iron in a Saltwater Solution?

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 4 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Griffin Eslinger and Alexander Puckhaber

Teacher Facilitator: Kellye Voigt

Abstract: The purpose of this experiment is to examine the structural integrity of an iron tensile bar immersed in a saltwater solution in microgravity. It is believed that the surface tension of water in microgravity will change and increase the rate of oxidation on the iron tensile bar, decreasing its structural integrity. Knowing how microgravity will affect the oxidation of metals is important when designing manned spacecraft and containers on the International Space Station.

 

Oral 25. Valley Center, KS
School and/or District: Valley Center High School
Grade levels of Team: 11

Title: The Effect of Microgravity on Bacterial Growth and its Resistance to Antibiotics

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 3b to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Logan Burks, Wesley Crow, Cole Klinkhammer, and Samuel Sheahan

Teacher Facilitator: Jeff Tracy

Abstract: Will bacteria be less susceptible to antibiotics after it is grown under the influence of microgravity? Our experiment will monitor the effect of microgravity on the growth of bacteria and how it resists an antibiotic used to eliminate bacterial grown in the effect of gravity. The bacteria being used in this experiment is staphylococcus epidermidis. Even though this bacterium is virtually harmless, it allowed data to be collected on whether or not the bacteria underwent changes while in microgravity.

 

Oral 26. Long Branch, NJ
School and/or District: Gregory School, Long Branch, New Jersey
Grade levels of Team: 5

Title: Hydroponics vs. Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 6 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Zachary FitzGerald, Ronnie Gibson, Jonathan Rocha, and Michael Zapcic

Teacher Facilitator: Laura Lazzati and Elizabeth Muscillo

Abstract: This experiment explores the effect of farming in microgravity using hydroponics, and how is it different from plants grown on Earth using the same method. In this experiment a lettuce seed will be grown from seed using a solution of miracle grow on the international space station to assess the effect of microgravity on the growth of a lettuce seed. If the seeds grow more efficiently in microgravity that could help grow plants on earth under the same protocols.

 

Oral 27. Somerville, TN
School and/or District: Fayette Academy
Grade levels of Team: 9 and 10

Title: The Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) VS E. Coli and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 6 to ISS

Principal Investigator: Mark Montague
Co-Investigators: Averi Davis, Harley Wade, and Tucker Whittington

Teacher Facilitator: Donna Burrus

Abstract: Research questions: “What effect will microgravity have on the Reishi mushroom’s (Ganoderma lucidum) ability to weaken, damage, or destroy cells? Will the E. coli cell reaction in microgravity match the reaction of the leukemia cell to the Reishi mushroom on Earth?” We believe the Reishi mushroom will induce cell arrest and apoptosis in cancer cells and pathogens. Microgravity’s lack of force could enhance the antimicrobial and cancer destroying properties of the mushroom.

 

Oral 28. NYC, NEST+m, NY, Team 2 
School and/or District: New Explorations in Science, Technology, and Math (NEST+m), NYC Department of Education
Grade levels of Team: 5

Title: Mammalian Milk in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 3b to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Alexander Plössl and Lennie Ma
Collaborators: Cavan Miller, Clarisa Carillo, Dawson Hall, Elliot Leinweber, Felix Scaggiante, Georgia Podgainy, Hayley He, Isabella Serrano, Joseph Dell’Olio, Julien Saunier, Kamaya Gooding, Kathryn Galperin, Kaylyne Cruz, Kiara Bracero, Kunal Ghalawat, Laila Cruz, Maury Ahram, Mina Ekstrom, Nia Powell, Remmi Duplessis, Riley Sexton, Samantha Rapkiewicz, Sasha Roberts, Sebastian Delangle, Theodore Haegele, and Zubin Gell

Teacher Facilitator: Zach Vine and Marvin Cadornigara

Abstract: The purpose of the experiment was to observe the effect of microgravity on bacterial growth in cow’s milk to determine whether the lack of gravity had a positive, negative, or neutral effect. Identical samples for comparison were prepared for bacterial growth in full gravity. Powdered milk and distilled water were chosen to allow for controlled activation of bacterial growth. Distilled water and sterile experimental loading was used to limit any bacteria contamination from sources other than the powdered milk.

 

Oral 29. Teachers in Space, Space Frontier Foundation, Team 1
School and/or District: West Shore Junior/Senior High School
Grade levels of Team: 12

Title: A Study of How Microgravity Affects the Activity of Enzymes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Using the Model of Papain and Gelatin

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 3b to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Robert Edmiston, Jaclyn Martin, Luke Redito, Harshit Saini, and Sanju Vardhan
Co-Investigators: Genna Owen, Carissa Sage, and Hannah Schroeter
Collaborators: Rashad Abdulla, Varun Bansal, Caleb Bryant, Olivia Escandell, Dave Foster, Anuj Mehindru, and Krunal Patel

Teacher Facilitator: Amy McCormick

Abstract: ALS patient paralysis is caused by the buildup of glutamate within the synaptic cleft. This experiment serves as a model of the breakdown of glutamate, using papain to study the enzymatic breakdown of proteins in gelatin. The data provides evidence to support the researchers’ hypothesis that an enzyme will be able to function more effectively in a microgravity environment.

 


The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with NanoRacks LLC, working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and Subaru of America, Inc., are National Partners on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.

The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with NanoRacks LLC, working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.