This post was published on 12/04/2020.
Land O’ Lakes, FL – (December 4, 2020) – A science experiment created by Wendell Krinn Technical High School (K-Tech) students in Pasco County will be sent to the International Space Station on Saturday with the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Mission 14 and the Dragon cargo spacecraft is scheduled to launch at exactly 11:39 a.m., on December 5.
An all-female team of K-Tech students from Sarah Kumar’s biomedical science class entered a national flight experiment design competition with aspirations of seeing their work launched into space. The team’s experiment was selected from among thousands of submissions of real flight experiments created by students from around the nation. The successful K-Tech submission explores the effects of microgravity on amoxicillin’s ability to kill the bacteria that causes staph infections—a critical concern for astronauts living within the close confines of the ISS. The team will have their own compartment inside Dragon’s payload box for their “mini-lab”, which the astronauts currently orbiting the Earth will then test aboard the ISS. At the same time as the astronauts conduct the experiment in space, the student team on Earth will conduct the same experiment and compare the findings.
This authentic STEM experience, which included a formal research project and a written proposal by the student team, mirrors the process that professional researchers would have to follow in the real world.