2018 SSEP National Conference – Student Team Oral Presentations

Last update of this page: June 15, 2018, 2:09 pm ET
Information still to be determined (if any) is in RED TEXT below.

This page provides descriptions of all 34 oral presentations by student teams at the 2018 SSEP National Conference.

 

Oral Presentations for the 2018 SSEP National Conference

Mission 9

Oral 1: North Charleston, South Carolina
School and/or District: Palmetto Scholars Academy
Grade level of Team: 11

Title: How Does Spaceflight Affect the Detachment of Zinc Whiskers on Raised Access Server Room Floor Tile?

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 9 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Kayla Capitan, Gabriel Voigt

Teacher Facilitator: Kellye Voigt

Abstract: Zinc whiskers are hair-like protrusions that may form on zinc-galvanized or zinc-electroplated surfaces. If whiskers become airborne, they can land on and bridge electronic components, causing catastrophic electronic failures. This study focused on the detachment rate of zinc whiskers on a floor tile sample through its SSEP flight. Through systematic photographic analysis of the sample and the double-sided carbon fiber tape that surrounded the sample in the Type 1 FME, a significant number of detached whiskers were observed and analyzed.

 

Mission 11

Oral 2: University System of Maryland, Maryland
School and/or District: University of Maryland, College Park
Grade levels of Team: 14-15

Title: Inhibition of P. Aeruginosa Biofilm with Antimicrobial Silicone in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 11 to ISS

Principal Investigator: Stacey Mannuel
Co-Investigators: Colton Treadway, Niall Cope, Emma Mirizio
Advisor: Dr. Birthe Kjellerup

Teacher Facilitator: Daniel Serrano

Abstract: Our experiment analyzes the effect of antibacterial silicone on the growth of P. aeruginosa biofilm in micro-gravitational conditions. Biofilms pose a problem in the maintenance of space instruments and astronaut health. Freeze-dried P. aeruginosa bacteria were activated with media on A=0 and allowed to grow on both non-modified silicone and antimicrobial silicone before being fixed on A+2. For analysis, our biofilm samples grown on the two surfaces will be compared to a ground control experiment via confocal microscopy analysis.

 

Oral 3: Fitchburg, Massachusetts
School and/or District: Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
Grade level of Team: 11

Title: Effects of Microgravity on Alcanivorax borkumensis

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 11 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Tanner O’Neil, Felipe Rodriguez
Collaborators: Caleb VanHillo, Samuel Poulin

Teacher Facilitator: Paula deDiego

Abstract: This experiment was designed to determine if microgravity affected the ability of Alcanivorax borkumensis to degrade n-alkanes compared to the ground truth. Freeze-dried bacteria was activated with growth media on U-14 and deactivated on U-5 by introducing Puromycin dihydrochloride growth inhibitor. Analysis included optical density testing, pellet mass measurements, wet mount microscopy and oil filtration. Our conclusion showed, an increase in growth rate in the ground truth and an increase in oil degradation in microgravity.

 

Oral 4: Galloway, New Jersey – Stockton University – Team 1
School and/or District: Stockton University
Grade levels of Team: Undergraduate

Title: The Effects of Microgravity on Endomycorrhizae

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 11 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Danielle Ertz, Valkyrie Falciani, Hannah Sandler
Co-Investigators: Francisca Ekekwe, Ariel Petchel, Chedecia Low, Megan Pierce

Teacher Facilitator: Dr. Tara Luke

Abstract: The purpose of the experiment was to combine Rhizophagus intraradices, a species of arbuscular mycorrhizae, and Linum usitatissimum, or flax, to test the mutualistic relationship between the two organisms in a microgravity environment and compare our results to the trials on Earth. After the experiment returned from space, it was examined and was prepped for analysis. We determined that the spores that were within microgravity conditions had produced more reproductive structures than the Earth samples among the flax while germinating.

 

Oral 5: Concord, North Carolina
School and/or District: J. N. Fries Magnet Middle School, Cabarrus County
Grade level of Team: 8

Title: Gravitropism of Radish Seeds (Raphanus sativus) in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 11 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Zayneb Shaikh, Paige Starnes, Sreenidhi Elayaperumal
Collaborators: Amy Bowman, Todd Erickson

Teacher Facilitators: Megan McNutt, Paul Fields

Abstract: The purpose of our experiment is to find the differences in gravitropism during the germination of radish seeds in gravity and microgravity. Gravitropism is a plant’s response to the stimuli of gravity. In microgravity, we hypothesize that our radish seeds will have longer shoots and shorter roots than those of from control group. This is because the there will be no gravity for the shoot to grow against, and no gravity to for the roots to grow along with.

 

Mission 12

Oral 6: Sao Paulo, Brazil
School and/or District: Dante Alighieri, EMEF Perimetral, Projeto Âncora
Grade levels of Team: 6-7

Title: Addition of “Green Plastic” to Enhance Cement Properties in Space

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Otto Gerbaka, Laura D’Amaro Bittencourt Pereira, Guilherme de Figueiredo Funck, Sofia Palma de Avila Reis, Natan Cardoso de Oliveira
Collaborators: Miriam Brito Guimarães, Patricia Sousa da Silva, Leandro Alves dos Santos, Camila Mafra Uva

Teacher Facilitator: Tiago Bodê

Abstract: How can we include powder from recycled plastic to the mixing process of cement to make it more suitable to space application? We are looking for new construction materials to make possible advanced manufacturing in space. How will the mixture of three materials in microgravity differ from those mixed on Earth? The material proposed here has the potential to mitigate some risks that cement could offer in the microgravity. The “green plastic” is a sustainable polymer provided by the Brazilian company Braskem and is used on the ISS with 3D printers of Made in Space.

 

Oral 7: Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
School and/or District: Nanaimo/Ladysmith Public Schools, Nanaimo District Secondary School
Grade level of Team: 11

Title: Effects of Microgravity on the Virulence of Kocuria rhizophila Bacteria in Caenorhabditis elegans

Type of Experiment: Semi-Finalist Proposal, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Erin Burnley, Melanie Devjayanth, Maija Dutton, Katrin Hannesson and Leslie Therriault

Teacher Facilitator: David Dutton

Abstract: This experiment determines whether microgravity influences the virulence of Kocuria rhizophila, using Caenorhabditis elegans. Nematode growth medium and dauer C. elegans in L-broth were added to a test tube. After two days, tryptic soy broth and Kocuria rhizophila were added. Three days later, formalin was added, terminating the experiment. The C. elegans killed by the bacteria and those fixed by the formalin were analyzed. Results were inconclusive because, all C. elegans in the control and microgravity experiments were killed by bacteria.

 

Oral 8: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
School and/or District: Lord Nelson School, Winnipeg School Division
Grade levels of Team: 5-6

Title: Duckweed: A Tiny Aquatic Plant that Floats but a Very Important Part of our Lives

Type of Experiment: Finalist Proposal, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Andre Bardelas, Czarina Mabilen
Co-Investigators: Jancel De Leon, Juliana Pescasio, Eon Rodriguez

Teacher Facilitator: Clara Kusumoto

Abstract: What impact does microgravity have on the growth rate of Lemna minor? Duckweed will increase its growth rate. Scientists have sent duckweed to microgravity and they found the growth rate increased. Duckweed can be used for many purposes like filtering dirty water, fertilizer for crops, biofuel, animal feed, and food for humans. Our pre-tests look to see if Lemna minor will survive in different conditions.

 

Oral 9: Winfield City, Alabama
School and/or District: Winfield Middle School, Winfield City Schools
Grade level of Team: 7

Title: The Effects of Microgravity on the Germination of Pueraria lobata (Kudzu) Seeds

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Izzy Stewart, Will May, Banks Roebuck, Seth Birdsong, Cole Kirkpatrick
Advisors: Dr. Matthew Frye, Dr. Jeanne Harris

Teacher Facilitator: Freda Curd

Abstract: This experiment was designed to test the effects that microgravity has on the germination of Pueraria lobata (kudzu) seeds. We will analyze the results of our experiments by counting the seeds germinated and by measuring the hypocotyl lengths and masses of the samples. Our hypothesis is that microgravity will not have an effect on germination. If this is the case, kudzu could become a vital component of diet and health aboard the ISS and someday en route to Mars.

 

Oral 10: Moreno Valley, California
School and/or District: Valley View High School, Moreno Valley Unified School District
Grade levels of Team: 10-12

Title: The Effect of Microgravity on Soybean Growth and Cell Structure

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Titan Lam, Roman Lara, Douglas McCormack, Semajj Martinez

Teacher Facilitator: Stacy Katzenstein

Abstract: This experiment has been specifically designed to monitor the growth of soybean seeds in a micro-gravity environment in comparison to its growth on Earth. Two refrigerated soybeans will be activated through means of the growth medium on A+2. U-14 clamp B will be released as the deactivation medium. Observation of results include microscope use, root structure formation, and root measurements. We hypothesize an increase in root length and expansion of plant cells in set comparison to the Ground-Truth Experiment.

 

Oral 11: Sanger, California
School and/or District: Fairmont Elementary School, Sanger Unified School District
Grade level of Team: 7

Title: The Effect Microgravity has on the Developmental Stages of Brine Shrimp

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Austin Griesner, Sean Viau
Collaborators: Jaqueline Ramirez, Elisa Rocha

Teacher Facilitator: Nikki Luckin

Abstract: This experiment was designed to investigate how microgravity affects the developmental stages of brine shrimp. The brine shrimp will be in a dormant state in their cysts while launched into the atmosphere. Day A=0, clamp A will release salt water to hatch brine shrimp. U-2, clamp B will release formalin to stop the experiment. Understanding the developmental stages brine shrimp will go through in microgravity would be a valuable step into the possibility of growing aquaponics systems for long space travel.

 

Oral 12: San Jose, California – Team 1
School and/or District: Discovery Charter School I
Grade level of Team: 7

Title: The Effect of Microgravity on Artemia Cysts

Type of Experiment: Finalist Proposal, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Shiori Kawaguchi, Maleah Frances

Teacher Facilitator: Jessica Davis

Abstract: What happens if babies are born in outer space? We simulated it with a different organism. This experiment was designed to monitor changes to space-born brine shrimp over a period of time. Some things we observed were movement, size, color, and internal organs. Dehydrated brine shrimp cysts were activated with water. Our ground truth results showed our experiment would not have worked, and we would need more water, less salt, and more air. We conducted an improved version to prove this.

 

Oral 13: San Jose, California – Team 2
School and/or District: Discovery Charter School I
Grade level of Team: 6

Title: Lactobacillus Casei in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Finalist Proposal, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Zoe Fotakis, Adela Simka, Chien-yu Sun
Advisors: Prof. Irene Chou, Michael Cox, Andrea DeDent, Michael Salib

Teacher Facilitator: Carol Bauerle

Abstract: Our question is what effects microgravity has on Lactobacillus casei, a beneficial strain of probiotics found in yogurt. In the future, if humans colonize in space, yogurt could provide a beneficial source of energy. Probiotics help to strengthen the immune system, and the calcium in yogurt can lessen the bone deterioration that occurs during long-term weightlessness. Moving forward, this experiment could help astronauts improve their health in space and provide a good food source for future space exploration.

 

Oral 14: San Jose, California – Team 3
School and/or District: Discovery Charter School I
Grade level of Team: 7

Title: The Effect of Microgravity on Spider Plant Seed Germination

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Amelia Lipcsei, Kimberly Wei
Co-Investigators: Grace Farrell, Morgan Lord, Natessa Wright

Teacher Facilitator: Susan Leftwich

Abstract: This experiment will examine the effect of microgravity on the germination of spider plant seeds, and will determine if the spider plant can successfully grow in space. Indoor air pollutants are ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health. These chemicals are even more prominent in space and on the ISS, and spider plants would reduce up to 90% of formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, O-xylene, and P-xylene. Our findings would greatly benefit the health of future astronauts.

 

Oral 15: Stamford, Connecticut – Team 1
School and/or District: Stamford High School
Grade level of Team: 12

Title: The Efficacy of Acetazolamide on Carbonic Anhydrase In Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Finalist Proposal, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Augustus Doricko, Vedant Gannu, Jordan Ordonez, James Pease, Imtiaz Uddin

Teacher Facilitator: Sue Dougherty

Abstract: 80% of astronauts returning from the ISS suffer from visual impairment intracranial pressure syndrome (VIIP). Microgravity decreases outflow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the cranium, increasing intracranial pressure (ICP). This causes papilledema. We’re testing the effect of acetazolamide, which inhibits the enzyme carbonic anhydrase which catalyzes the dissociation of carbonic acid into bicarbonate and protons, on bicarbonate concentration in whole blood. Bicarbonate is necessary for the production of CSF, thus reducing bicarbonate production will reduce CSF, therein reducing ICP.

 

Oral 16: Stamford, Connecticut – Team 2
School and/or District: Stamford High School
Grade level of Team: 11

Title: Effects of Microgravity on the Cultivation of Yeast

Type of Experiment: Finalist Proposal, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: John Bolognino, Matthew Dattolo, Grihith Manchanda, Alejandro Ross, Patrick Zaleski

Teacher Facilitator: Sue Dougherty

Abstract: This experiment was designed to measure the reproductive rate of baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) in microgravity as compared to its rate under Earth’s gravity. We will allow two identical yeast cultures to cultivate for three days. By determining the rates of reproduction, we will be able to determine the viability of yeast cultivation in space and any of its ramifications in scientific and economic development. This information will provide insight into growing organisms on extensively-timed missions.

 

Oral 17: Stamford, Connecticut – Team 3
School and/or District: Stamford High School
Grade levels of Team: 11

Title: The Effects of Microgravity on Crossbreeding Sordaria fimicola

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Lalith Goli, Ryan Hoak, Adarsh Sushanth

Teacher Facilitator: Sue Dougherty

Abstract: We will analyze the effect microgravity has on the reproduction of the fungus Sordaria fimicola by studying the crossing over that occurs during meiosis. To measure crossing over, our experiment breeds together two colors: a black and tan strain. When Sordaria fimicola breeds, it creates ascii with eight ascospores each, and the arrangement of the colored ascospores can indicate whether or not crossing over has occurred. Another aspect that is visible is whether or not a mutation has occurred.

 

Oral 18: Jackson County, Georgia
School and/or District: Gum Springs Elementary School, Jackson County School System
Grade level of Team: 5

Title: Hatching Rate of Artemia salina in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Ella Cobb, Anna Holley, Audrey Waters

Teacher Facilitators: Tammi Gowen, Stephanie Purvis

Abstract: This experiment is to determine the hatching rate of Artemia salina in microgravity compared to gravity. Twenty Artemia salina cysts will be mixed with Saline water on U-5 when the first clamp is removed. On U-2 the second clamp will be removed, isopropyl will be introduced stopping further growth of the cysts. Analysis will be completed once the experiment returns to gravity to determine if the cysts hatching rate was the same as the ground truth experiment.

 

Oral 19: Kalamazoo/Detroit, Michigan – St. Monica
School and/or District: St. Monica Catholic School
Grade level of Team: 6

Title: Rust in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Noah Aiello, Sean Pierucci
Co-Investigators: Dannica McCue, Katie Wolf

Teacher Facilitator: Katherine Hammer

Abstract: This experiment was designed to monitor the effects of microgravity on a 1 gram piece of iron which will be sent to the ISS to see if it can rust. A type 3 FME tube will be used and will contain iron, 0.5 mL of water, and 0.1 grams of cotton. This experiment will be conducted on Earth at the same time as the experiment on the ISS.

 

Oral 20: Galloway, New Jersey – Stockton University – Team 2
School and/or District: Stockton University
Grade levels of Team: 13-14

Title: The Effects of Microgravity on PGMA Based Self-Assembly and Impacts on Drug Delivery Systems

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Daniel Schneider, Christina Tallone
Co-Investigator: Chioma Uka

Teacher Facilitator: Dr. Pamela Cohn

Abstract: The experiment will address the problem of polydispersity of hydrophobic drug molecules when encapsulated by polymers under normal Earth conditions. The proposed experiment will test to see if microgravity conditions will result in monodispersed micelles, which could be used for drug delivery. The experiment includes the self-assembly of PEGMA around indigo dye, a hydrophobic molecule, in place of a drug. A PEG-dithiol crosslinker will add stability to the micelles formed.

 

Oral 21: Springfield, New Jersey
School and/or District: Florence M. Gaudineer School
Grade level of Team: 7

Title: Will Tardigrade Eggs Hatch and Develop in Microgravity?

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Cecilia Perez, Paige Lieberman, Kripa Patel, Emma Pallitta

Teacher Facilitator: Alison Gillen

Abstract: This experiment is designed to see if Tardigrade eggs will hatch and develop in microgravity. Ten Tardigrade eggs will be sent to the ISS in the FME 3 tube. On U-14 the astronauts will release the first clamp to allow water and moss into the chamber holding the eggs. On U-2 the second clamp will be opened to introduce the fixative in the chamber. Analysis will include comparison of hatching rates and development of Tardigrades with the ground truth experiment.

 

Oral 22: Belen, New Mexico – Team 1
School and/or District: Belen High School
Grade level of Team: 9

Title: What is the Effect of Microgravity on Radish Rate of Growth Compared to Here on Earth?

Type of Experiment: Finalist Proposal, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Daniela Corral, Kodie Garcia, Makayla Ramirez
Co-Investigators: Arianna Gabaldon, Madison Hill, Allan Torres

Teacher Facilitators: Stephen C. Boliver, Chelsey Servantes

Abstract: This experiment will compare the growth rate of radish seeds in microgravity and on Earth. The purpose is to see what will happen to the rate of growth of radishes in microgravity. Our hypothesis is that the radish seeds will grow slower or not at all in microgravity. For the ground experiment, an FME Type 3 Tube was used. The FME contains 3 radish seeds, cotton, water, and formalin. When the water is released to the seeds, we will analyze every 2 days and record observations.

 

Oral 23: Belen, New Mexico – Team 2
School and/or District: Belen High School
Grade levels of Team: 11-12

Title: The Future of Steel in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Finalist Proposal, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Abigail Brown, Arscenia Lucero
Co-Investigators: Hannah Maria, Erick Venuti
Collaborators: Madisen Good, Kayden Oskins

Teacher Facilitator: Stephen C. Boliver

Abstract: Our experiment will test how oxidation affect steel. Iron III oxide is produced by the reaction of Iron, Oxygen, and water. Rust is produced by Iron oxidation, which is a reddish-orange, dirt-like substance. The FME tube will combine steel wool and humidified oxygen. The intention of the experiment is to help gather information about steel in space and if it could have the potential to serve other purposes in a microgravity environment.

 

Oral 24: Belen, New Mexico – Team 3
School and/or District: Belen High School
Grade levels of Team: 9, 11 and 12

Title: Death and Decomposition of Tomato Leaves in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Fight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Julia Castillo, Isaiah Baca
Co-Investigators: Savannah Lajeunesse, Iris Thomas

Teacher Facilitators: Stephen C. Boliver, Chelsey Servantes

Abstract: This experiment seeks to determine the effect of microgravity on the decomposition of organic matter. Two FME tubes each containing two leaves of Lycopersicon lycopersicum and a dose of the chemical preservative formalin. Both samples will be refrigerated before commencement of the experiment. Upon sample’s return to Earth, analysis will occur to examine decay progress and compare the results to the sample that remained in normal conditions. Definite conclusions regarding decomposition differences will be drawn after all data is considered.

 

Oral 25: WNY STEM – Buffalo/Niagara, New York
School and/or District: Wellsville High School
Grade level of Team: 12

Title: The Effects of Ascorbic Acid on the Rate of Regeneration in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Fight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Brandon Bailey, Tyler Watson
Co-Investigators: David Graham, Shannon Nye
Collaborators: Nichelle Dannheim, Trinity Roulo

Teacher Facilitator: Ross Munson

Abstract: This experiment was designed to test the effects of ascorbic acid on the rate of regeneration of planarian worms in microgravity. A diluted solution of ascorbic acid will be mixed with the planarian on Day A=0 and after two weeks, they will be preserved in formalin to be examined back on Earth. Preliminary experiments have shown that the ascorbic acid does increase the rate of regeneration but we are yet to determine the effect in microgravity.

 

Oral 26: Sumter, South Carolina – Team 1
School and/or District: Alice Drive Middle School
Grade level of Team: 6

Title: Does Microgravity Affect the Growth of Muscadine Vine with Root Hormone

Type of Experiment: Finalist Proposal, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Allison Irick, J. Michael Rogerson, Isabel Rodriguez, Olin Towery, Kenshin Atkinson

Teacher Facilitator: Elizabeth McDonald

Abstract: The main goal of our experiment is to see the effects of microgravity using root hormone on hydroponically grown muscadine vines. Background research has shown that muscadines are grapes native only to the Southern United States and have a relatively high yield; studies have also found that muscadines have antioxidants and cancer fighting properties. The project consists of creating muscadine vines in space in a three step approach, using root hormone, a muscadine cutting and water.

 

Oral 27: Sumter, South Carolina – Team 2
School and/or District: Alice Drive Middle School
Grade levels of Team: 6-7

Title: The Effect of Microgravity on Diffusion and Brownian Motion of a Powdered Substance

Type of Experiment: Finalist Proposal, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Lakota Anderson, Samantha Kirkhart, Gracen Morris, Emma Tilghman, Julianna Valcourt

Teacher Facilitator: Joshua Long

Abstract: The main goal of our experiment is to determine whether the particles of a powdered substance will remain suspended in water, or separate from the liquid while under the effects of microgravity. Our question is, “Does the effect of microgravity have an impact on Brownian motion of the particles in a liquid?”

 

Oral 28: Sumter, South Carolina – Team 3
School and/or District: Alice Drive Middle School
Grade level of Team: 6

Title: The Effects of Microgravity on Seed Germination

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Alyse King, Ashlin Farmer
Co-Investigators: Alana Garrick, Mary-Brook Mooneyham

Teacher Facilitator: Cynthia Parker

Abstract: This experiment was designed to determine whether sodium polyacrylate would absorb water in microgravity allowing radish seeds to germinate. Sodium polyacrylate has been known to expand on Earth when it comes in contact with water. If zero gravity has no effect on the ability of sodium polyacrylate to absorb water, we predict the radish seeds will germinate. This would lead to further studies such as using sodium polyacrylate as an insulator to protect fragile samples brought back from space.

 

Oral 29: Burleson, Texas
School and/or District: Burleson Independent School District
Grade level of Team: 6

Title: The Effects of Microgravity on Penicillium Mold Growth

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Principal Investigator: Gabriel McCarthy
Co-Investigators: Ryder Huskins, Kenneth Sanders
Collaborators: Ethan Moore, Ian Ray

Teacher Facilitator: Laura Smith

Abstract: Our team will answer the question how Penicillium mold grows in a microgravity environment versus Earth’s gravity. The purpose of our experiment is to provide a viable solution to bacterial infections in space. Bacteria in space tends to act more violently so perhaps mold will act more furiously to kill bacteria. Our hypothesis is that it will grow better. Since gravity forces are seemingly limited in space, maybe the mold will grow larger than usual.

 

Oral 30: Ector County, Texas – Team 1
School and/or District: Falcon Early College High School, Ector County ISD
Grade levels of Team: 10-11

Title: Decomposition in Space

Type of Experiment: Finalist Proposal, Mission 12 to ISS

Principal Investigator: Damien Galindo
Co-Investigators: Fabian Carrasco, Leo Lopez
Collaborators: Devin Arriaga, Francis Dapanas, Mason Driggers, Faith Eleby, Wendy Hernandez, Juan Mendoza, Deidre Soto, Yazlin Romero, Gracielle Velasco, Kobe Hernandez

Teacher Facilitator: Elizabeth Gray

Abstract: We want to determine how mushrooms adapt in microgravity. Our first step would be to see how mushrooms decompose in microgravity. We plan to send Enoki mushrooms to the ISS and determine the rate of decomposition while in a microgravity environment. Not many experiments with decomposition have specifically been done in space. There have been past experiments with the growth of mycelium in space, but nothing with the whole mushroom process itself.

 

Oral 31: Ector County, Texas – Team 2
School and/or District: Falcon Early College High School, Ector County ISD
Grade levels of Team: 10-11

Title: The Efficacy of Ideonella Sakaiensis in a Microgravity Environment

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Principal Investigator: Deidre Morales
Co-Investigators: Fabian Carrasco, Leo Lopez
Collaborators: Devin Arriaga, Francis Dapanas, Mason Driggers, Faith Eleby, Damien Galindo, Wendy Hernandez, Juan Mendoza, Yazlin Romero, Gracielle Velasco, Fabian Carrasco, Kobe Hernandez, Leo Lopez

Teacher Facilitator: Elizabeth Gray

Abstract: A recently discovered bacterium, Ideonella Sakaiensis, has been proven capable of degrading Poly(ethylene terephthalate), or PET. We will compare the efficacy of the bacterium in a microgravity environment to that on Earth. Ideonella Sakaiensis and PET film are in the same MiniLab and we will measure and compare the degradation in microgravity and on Earth. This will help us gain a greater understanding of how to dispose of plastics, such as PET, while in space as well as on Earth.

 

Oral 32: Fort Bend, Texas – Team 1
School and/or District: Settlers Way Elementary, Fort Bend Independent School District
Grade level of Team: 5

Title: Growing Solanum Tuberosum in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Zainab Basit, Isabelle Chang

Teacher Facilitator: Sherry DeMont

Abstract: Our query is will Solanum tuberosum (potato) seeds germinate in microgravity. If our project works, the process may be sustainable. Our hypothesis is the Solanum tuberosum seeds will germinate in microgravity because NASA tried different plants like Zinnia. They were successful. Potatoes contain lots of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity which helps fight off cell damage in the body. We are using a Type 3 FME that contains water, Solanum tuberosum seeds, and peat mix.

 

Oral 33: Fort Bend, Texas – Team 2
School and/or District: Quail Valley Middle School, Fort Bend Independent School District
Grade level of Team: 7

Title: The Effect of Microgravity on the Germination of Apium graveolens

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Principal Investigator: Leena Joshi
Co-Investigators: Athulya Nair, Christina Phong, Michelle Zho

Teacher Facilitator: Jeanette Morales

Abstract: The aim of this experiment is to determine the effects of microgravity on the germination of Apium graveolens. The FME utilized for the investigation will be type 3. The astronauts will unclamp clamp A to add the water to the soil and seeds. The fixative (formalin) will be added to the seeds to stop the development of the plant by asking the astronaut to unclamp clamp B and delicately shaking the tubes. The analysis will be precisely under similar conditions.

 

Oral 34: iForward-Grantsburg, Wisconsin
School and/or District: iForward Public Online Charter School, Grantsburg Wisconsin School District
Grade levels of Team: 6-8

Title: Grain Size and Distribution Analysis of Gallium in Microgravity

Type of Experiment: Flight Experiment, Mission 12 to ISS

Co-Principal Investigators: Anita Finch, Grace Mullikin, Andrew Nichols, Dominic Parker
Advisors: Dr. Doug Dunham, Dr. Kevin Crosby

Teacher Facilitators: Constance Quade, Ron Cerveny

Abstract: We seek to determine if there will be a change in grain size and distribution of processed gallium metal in a microgravity environment after a change of state occurs, wherein gallium is melted, then solidifies. We will compare the grain size and distribution using optical microscopy and the “Chart Comparison” method. Electron microscopy will reveal other materials present in the samples. Upon analysis of the results, we will be able to draw conclusions about the implications for unique mechanical properties.

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 DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are 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 MuseumCenter for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and Subaru of America, Inc., are U.S. National Partners on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. Magellan Aerospace is a Canadian National Partner 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 DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are 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.