BCHS students’ experiment to be aboard International Space Station

April 20, 2015

For the second time in 2015, Northside ISD is headed to space.

Two seniors at Business Careers High School, Kaitlyn Bloch and John Gonzales, developed an experiment that will head to the International Space Station in summer 2015.

Their experiment was selected from among 262 proposals from Earth and Space Science students at 10 high schools.

Northside is participating in Mission 7 of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) designed by the National Center for Earth and Space Education (NCESSE), in partnership with NanoRacks.

In early January, an experiment developed by four Hobby Middle School students reached the ISS as part of Mission 6.

“This was such a wonderful experience last year for our fifth and sixth grade students, so I was thrilled that our high school science students would have an opportunity to participate and design experiments of their own,” said Superintendent Dr. Brian Woods. “It is a hands-on, real-world exercise that could lead to any number of careers in the STEM field for our students.”

The winning team

With a proposal title of “The Effects of Microgravity on the Rate of Plant Growth,” Bloch and Gonzales’ experiment will study the effects of microgravity on the rate of radish cell division.

Gonzalez and Bloch are pictured with Holmes HS Principal Ada Bohlken and Business Careers HS Principal Randy Neuenfeldt.

Based on real-world science proposal models, teams of students researched science projects and wrote proposals that were submitted for a two-step approval process.

Eighty-four proposals were reviewed by a local review board made up of educators and researchers from Southwest Research Institute, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Northside.

Students design winning Mission Patches

The Fine Arts Department also teamed up on this science project to hold a design contest for a Mission Patch. The winning designs were by Gabriella Ambriz from Linton Elementary School for her K-5 Mission Patch, and Shayna L’Homme from Hector Garcia Middle School for her 6-12 Mission Patch.

Hector Garcia Middle School student Shayna L'Homme designed the winning 6-12 Mission Patch.

Linton ES student Gabriella Ambriz designed the winning K-5 Mission Patch.

Participating schools make it a team effort

Students began working on their projects in September and proposals were due in November.

Researchers from the University of Texas at San Antonio worked with students at many of the schools.

Participating schools were Brandeis, Brennan, Clark, Holmes, Jay, Marshall, O’Connor, Stevens, Taft, and Warren high schools. The competition was offered to all students taking the Earth and Space Sciences course.

SSEP is undertaken by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in partnership with Nanoracks, LLC. This on-orbit educational research opportunity is enabled through NanoRacks, LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.