New Jersey 7th Graders Sending Blood Suckers to the Space Station

The six-girl team from Columbia Middle School won a contest with their proposal “Baby Bloodsuckers in Outer Space”. They will send mosquito eggs to the International Space Station to see how microgravity will affect the insect’s development. At the same time they will conduct control experiments in the classroom to compare the space bugs to normal mosquitos. The mosquitos will stay inside a sealed container the whole time. No astronauts will be harmed.

New Jersey’s Berkeley Heights Public Schools announced that 650 of its middle and high school students submitted 152 proposals for the chance to do science in space. Another 1,000 elementary and middle school students took part in the art competition to design the mission patch.

The chance to do real science in space came thanks to the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. The SSEP provides opportunities for dozens of student space experiments every year in NanoRack’s commercial laboratory. The sponsoring school district raises the $30,000 cost of the program while engaging the entire community. The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education supports schools in the United States while the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education supports schools in ISS partner nations.

(Via The Alternative Press)