Although only one of the students was able to attend NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Monday, they did travel with their teacher, Circe Bridges, and other school district personnel for the original launch which was to take place in April.
The fifth-graders worked with LSU professors on the project and will discuss their experiment again on Wednesday, May 18, at 10:30 a.m. in Room 130 of Nicholson Hall on LSU’s campus.
The students participated in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, or SSEP, which was launched June 2010 by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education in partnership with NanoRacks LLC, and is a remarkable United States national science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education initiative that affords 3,200 students across a community the ability to design and propose real experiments to fly in low-Earth orbit, first aboard the final flights of the space shuttle, and then on the International Space Station.
The CME six from Circe Bridges’ class were selected for their proposed study to see how microgravity affects the growth rate of murine myoblasts isolated from adult mice.
The results of this research are important due to the increasing need of cell research application.
John Lynn, associate chair and director of undergraduate studies in the LSU Department of Biological Sciences; Kenneth Bondioli, associate professor in the LSU AgCenter’s School of Animal Science; and Khalid Alshibli, associate professor in the LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, assisted with the development of the research proposals.
Funding for this program is being provided by the Zachary Community School District and a grant awarded by the Louisiana Space Consortium, or LaSPACE.
Although the students missed the April 29 launch which was delayed due to mechanical problems, they will be going to Wasington in July to share their experiment and findings, said Bridges.