Some local elementary school students have been chosen to have their science experiment conducted on the International Space Station.
The team of fifth-grade students and their teacher from Vanderburg Elementary School in Henderson are one of 12 national winners. The winning proposal, "Soybean Germination in Microgravity," was submitted by by teacher facilitator William Gilluly and student investigators Shari Abeyakoon, Kendall Allgower and Avery Sanford.
Their idea is to test the effects of microgravity on soybeans, which could be a vitamin and nutrient-dense food source for astronauts on long space missions.
The Vanderburg Elementary School team will work over the summer with local professionals to modify the experimental protocols, in order to make preparations for the flight that is scheduled to take place in early 2017.
Astronauts will activate the experiment in space by releasing clamps and mixing the materials contained in a small tube. The completed experiment will be returned to the students upon its return back to Earth. Students will conduct the same experiment on land and compare results of the germination of soybean seeds in low gravity versus Earth’s gravity.