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Student experiment selected to be tested in space station

Juniors+Michael+Mecham+%28left%29+and+Brent+Robinson+develop+their+winning+experiment.
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Student experiment selected to be tested in space station

Juniors Michael Mecham (left) and Brent Robinson develop their winning experiment.

Juniors Michael Mecham (left) and Brent Robinson develop their winning experiment.

Juniors Michael Mecham (left) and Brent Robinson develop their winning experiment.

Juniors Michael Mecham (left) and Brent Robinson develop their winning experiment.

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On January 3, an experiment proposed by BCHS juniors Michael Mecham, Brent Robinson, and Lucas Hannon was selected by the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) to be sent to and replicated in the International Space Station in the spring of 2019.

The goal of SSEP is to give students the opportunity to conduct experiments to a national audience. The process the students underwent to get accepted by SSEP was quite rigorous. It involved competing with multiple other science classes in the school, consideration from Berea College, and hours upon hours of study and revisions.

The experiment Mecham, Robinson, and Hannon will send to the International Space Station will be a test on rusting in settings of different gravity. “Our experiment is testing whether microgravity will have an effect on how quickly rust forms,” Mecham said. “We’ll test this by sending iron nails into space and releasing salt water into the chamber with the iron nails allowing rust to form. After 12 days in microgravity the astronauts will undo a clamp introducing sodium polyacrylate into the chamber which will turn the salt water into a gel stopping the process of rust from continuing.” The same experiment will be conducted on Earth, and the results of both will be compared. The students expect that the nails in space will rust less than those on Earth.

Mecham, Robinson, and Hannon are very happy to have been offered this once in a lifetime experience. “We are incredibly excited and honored to work with NASA on an experiment that will be going to space,” Robinson said. “It has shown us that the further you dive into a project or passion of this nature the more complicated and difficult it becomes, and more exciting and rewarding.”

 

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The Student News Site of Berea Community High School
Student experiment selected to be tested in space station