KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Excitement is building at Coronado Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas.
Four students submitted a science experiment in a recent district-wide competition between nine middle schools in the Kansas City, Kansas Public School District. More than 1,200 students worked in teams and submitted proposed experiments for the International Space Station.
The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education chose the experiment submitted by the four students at Coronado Middle School as the winner, and their experiment will now be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) this spring for six weeks.
When it returns to Earth, the Coronado students will evaluate the results.
Uhunoma Amayo, a seventh-grade student at Coronado Middle School, along with eighth-graders Daleshone Sharkey, DaQuon Cheadle and Carolos Jimenez Reyes, collaborated on the experiment. Together, they are trying to determine the best method for growing mint leaves in space with different gravity and much less sunlight.
Under the guidance of their science teacher, Erin Morley, the students have experimented with different substances to determine the best way for the mint leaves to grow on Earth. They will send samples of those same substances into space to determine what method yields the most mint leaves there. The students will get data from their experiment from the ISS and personally examine those results.
Only 32 science experiments from the United States, Canada, South America, the United Kingdom and India were chosen to be on the International Space Station.
Over the years, several student teams in other area school districts have been finalists and winners, but this is the first year a team from Kansas City, Kansas won the competition.
Asteam Village in Kansas City, Missouri, introduced the Student Space Flight Experiments Program (SEEP) to Kansas City area schools in 2012. The SEEP is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education in the U.S. and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Science Education internationally.
GEAR UP, a college readiness program from the University of Kansas, sponsored this year's competition for KCK schools. The program has site coordinators at all the middle schools in the district.
The site coordinator at Coronado Middle School is following the students' progress and assisting as needed with supplies and support services.