- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - An experiment developed by students at a Traverse City high school and contained in a tube roughly the size of a pencil will be sent into space.

The experiment to test how algae grow in near-zero gravity will be sent to the International Space Station, the Traverse City Record-Eagle (https://bit.ly/1VOEYiK ) reported. The project was designed by four 10th-grade honors chemistry students at Traverse City West Senior High School.

The project by Robbie Lohr, Ryan Hayes, Sam Church and Hayden Holmes was picked from more than 200 proposed by students at the school as part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. It will join other national winners jetting into space in the spring.

The Traverse City students would like to see the algae grow better in near-zero gravity than on the ground.

“Our hope for this project is that it will have a greater growth in space so that in the future when we do grow this it’ll have better chances for survival up in space,” Holmes said.

The team spent a lot of time researching the best kind of algae for the experiment, since they needed to find one that could grow in the dark. They called ocean, algae and microbacteria experts before submitting their project and settled on an algae found on the ocean floor.

The project also had to require a minimum amount of work from astronauts on the space station.

“Once it’s up in space, the astronauts unclamp it and shake and then they let it sit up there and see what it does,” Lohr said.


Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, https://www.record-eagle.com

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