I had ideas for umpteen blogs. Here is where they all somehow converge and I attempt to do something productive with my sprawling web presence.
Monday, December 28, 2015
'Spud Launchers' set to launch potato into space to see if it will grow
A group of middle school students from Buffalo New York want to test out potato gardening by sending a spud into space with a little help from their friends at NASA.
Last fall, when “The Martian” hit movie theatres, fact-checkers speculated whether potatoes could really grow onMars. Now, a group of middle school students from Buffalo New York want to test out potato gardening by sending a spud into space with a little help from their friends at NASA.
Buffalo News reports Dec. 27 that three students from Hamlin Park School 74 ‒ Gabriella Melendez, Toriana Cornwell and Shaniylah Welch ‒ will see their science experiment entitled “Tuber Growth in Microgravity” sent to the International Space Station (ISS) in the spring/summer of 2016. Their experiment will answer whether the potato can sprout in the ISS laboratory and survive a trip back to earth for subsequent planting.
The self-named “Spud Launchers” were inspired by the film “The Martian” when they came up with their project idea. “We wish to try to grow potatoes on the International Space Station so we can see if the plants will be able to grow on other planets…because of the distinct lack of grocery stores in outer space,” they said.
The project won in a national competition hosted by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) and was selected to be tested on the ISS. The three students worked with researchers from the the Biological Sciences Department at the University at Buffalo and the Agricultural and Life Sciences Department at Cornell to fine-tune their data and research. It wasn’t just a big win for the students, but also for the world of science which has been working to increase interest in the sciences in today’s youth.
*originally published at the now defunct Examiner.com