A science experiment and two mission patches designed by Clark County School District students will launch soon with destination to the International Space Station.
The mission patches are scheduled to launch on board the SpaceX-10, while the science experiment will head to space in April on board SpaceX-11. Both projects are part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, Mission 10, which began during the 2015-2016 school year.
The two winning mission patches were selected from more than 3,000 designs created by CCSD students in seven elementary schools. A local panel of judges consisting of educators, artists and program supporters selected Martha P. King Elementary School students Ella Morris and Julia Tregnan as the winners. Both designs display images of space, the Earth and Nevada's desert flora and fauna.
In addition to the patch design competition, the program also challenged students to design an experiment that would test the effects of microgravity. The experiment at John C. Vanderburg Elementary School emerged as the winner, among more than 90 proposals submitted.
Student investigators Shari Abeyakoon, Kendall Allgower and Avery Sanford, evaluated the effects of microgravity on seed germination as a possible source for food in long-term space travel. The experiment will be prepared by the students before loading onto a ferry vehicle that will carry it to the space station.
Astronauts will activate the experiment in space, while students conduct the same experiment on land to compare the gravity levels and results. Once returned to Earth, the patches and the science experiment will be returned to the students.