What you get is an explosion of ideas!
Last year, Johnston Middle School hosted a live discussion with two astronauts in the international Space Station. This year, the students (and their sibs from Parker Elementary) have the opportunity to design real-life experiments which astronauts will perform in the microgravity of space. Student experiments can range the gamut from crystals and bacteria, to aquatic life, DNA, tissue samples and plant growth.
Each student is given an opaque container about the size of a cigar or a test tube. This is their "laboratory". Three tiny ampoules are sealed inside the container. At specified times, the astronauts will break open the ampoules and shake up the contents. The same experiment will be performed here in our normal earth gravity, and the results will be compared and analyzed once the space flight is over.
So what do you get when the astronauts mix three things in space for our student experiments?
We are not at all sure yet… but stay tuned for Johnston’s Mission One to the International Space Station!