Local science project in space

Dec 10, 2010, 2:54 AM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

Endeavor When the Space Shuttle Endeavor blasts off for its final mission next year it will be carrying an experiment from a local high school.

Fifteen projects were chosen out of 450 submitted for a national competition, and Ballard High School students designed one of the winning experiments.

Bio-tech and astronomy students from BHS created an experiment to test the effects of space flight on bacteria, like Ecoli.

“We’re going to send the bacteria up into space and they’ll grow for two weeks. Once we get them back we’ll perform a whole bunch of different tests on them to see how they grew differently than bacteria grown here on earth,” says student Danny Thompson, a junior who worked on the project. “What we’re looking at specifically is the rate at which they grew and the mutation rate.”

Paul Menendez, also in 11th grade, explains what they’ll do with the information. “Maybe make some inferences what life might do if we moved and started growing things out in low gravity situations,” he says.

Sarah Culp, a junior, is excited because the project data will continue to be useful for many years after she graduates from high school.

“If all goes well we could have this original colony that was up in space in Ballard to have further students do experiments on,” she says.

Standing in room 220 at BHS, the students talked about growth patterns they’ve already observed in bacteria grown in the micro-gravity simulators the built.

I honestly didn’t understand the details, because I was absorbing their energy and enthusiasm.

“Wow, I actually get to take part in an experiment that’s going into space. That’s coming this close to going there myself,” says Lewis Jensen, a BHS sophomore

These students have what every parent wants for their children – something that gets them charged up in school.

“I’ve got kids of my own,” says Eric Muhs, their teacher. “As parents, as teachers would like our kids to find some passion somewhere and pursue it. You find something you like to do, and you do it for awhile and you look around and you realize you’re as good as anybody doing this particular thing. You can become an expert in something.”

These kids have found their “thing” through science. There are more students like Danny, Paul, Sarah and Lewis than you ever hear about in the news.

“The people who do care I feel like don’t get enough attention because they’re good kids. You don’t hear about them they’re doing their work, they’re getting their A’s,” says Jensen. “It’s the kids who act out, criminals, juvenile delinquents who are more newsworthy.” Jensen “gets it” with the media.

I think these Seattle kids who have an experiment going up with the Space Shuttle Endeavor in February of 2011 are newsworthy, and pretty cool too.

The News Chick Blog

The wife of Seattle attorney Danford Grant moved his car away from one of the alleged crime scenes ...
No Author

Equal justice for Seattle lawyer accused of several rapes?

Has accused serial rapist Danford Grant gotten preferential treatment because both he and his wife are Seattle attorneys?
10 years ago
The Seattle-based I Can Has Cheezburger network now includes 60 humor sites. Many of their 90 emplo...
No Author

Seattle humor network, built with funny cat pictures, becomes a reality TV show

A small Internet empire with a funny name has billions of page views on its network of 60 humor websites based in Seattle. Now, I Can Has Cheezburger has a reality TV show too.
10 years ago
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent a combined $30.33 every second this election cycle. Wa...
No Author

Democracy and dollar signs – 2012 campaign spending

Washington initiative campaigns spent $34 million trying to win your vote, while President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent a combined $30.33 every second this election cycle.
10 years ago
Chef Tom Douglas says Seattle’s restaurants are ‘a little homemade’ compared with...
No Author

Chef Tom Douglas says ‘Seattle is a funny restaurant town’

Chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas, with 13 Seattle restaurants and more on the way, says Seattle is a "funny restaurant town."
10 years ago
Investigation continues into why a commander of the Bremerton-based Stennis carrier group was remov...
No Author

New ‘crazy’ conspiracy theory on Stennis Rear Admiral

The Pentagon shoots down theories about why the commander of the USS Stennis Carrier Group was removed from duty and sent back to the homeport in Bremerton.
10 years ago
Seattle photographer Paul Souders captures an adult polar bear up close in Hudson Bay in Churchill,...
No Author

Seattle photographer comes face to face with a polar bear

A wildlife photographer, who lives in Ballard, has taken thousands of stunning shots. None put him on "a razor's edge" more than a series of photos swimming with a polar bear.
10 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Local science project in space