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The Space Team Members at Limona Elementary are Ready to Send Their Experiment Out of This World

February 27, 2018

Every Friday after school at Limona Elementary, Mrs. Kemp’s classroom is transformed into a science lab. That is where you will find several little scientists eagerly testing their hypothesis. They call themselves the Space Team, and they have been selected by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, to have their experiment tested in space.

The experiment? Testing the growth of wheat in space.

Their hypothesis? They believe the seeds will germinate in micro-gravity, but the roots will probably be in a tangle because they will be confused about which way is up and which way is down.

“This is a very competitive process, and the students are excited that their experiment has been selected to go to the international space station,” said Jane Kemp, fifth grade math and science teacher at Limona Elementary. 

Each Friday, during club time, the little scientists meet to practice proper protocol, prepare their science tubes for space, and the students are fortunate to be mentored by an actual scientist. Each week, Dr. Joniqua Howard calls in via Skype to speak with the Space Team to make sure they are following proper protocol, as well as, understand the procedures of their experiment.  

Once the seeds are prepared for their journey, the students will be invited to watch as the seeds launch into space. The students will receive the experiment and they will do the analysis of the data. That data will then be shared with scientists currently working on spaceflight issues.  

In the end, the students hope their data will be instrumental in how astronauts are fed during the long journey into space.

The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program is headed by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and is funded locally by a generous contribution from Suncoast Credit Union and the Space Florida Foundation. Each elementary and middle school in Hillsborough County has the opportunity to participate in this  annual competition. The Tampa Bay STEM Network is proud to support community partnerships such as this.  

We look forward to the countdown to launch, currently scheduled for June 9, 2018 and can’t wait to hear the research results!

To learn more about Limona Elementary visit: http://limona.mysdhc.org/

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