SSEP Students in Space. Meet informally Thursdays after school from now through Nov. 1 Room B- Hang out, get your questions answered - or, if I can’t, contact the national program director, Rachel Manzer firstname.lastname@example.org MSJHS school community lead - Dr. Brucker.
1. How Does Microgravity Affect the Maximum Cell Size of Tardigrades?
Grades 9-11, Ridge View High School, Galva-Holstein, Iowa
Principal Investigator: Dana Hustedt
Co-Investigators: Jacob Biddle, Austin Hayden, Isaac Jepsen, Gretchen Kistenmacher, Michael Perrett, and Taylor Radke
Teacher Facilitators: Art Witten, High School Chemistry and Physics Teacher, and Patty Wheeler, High School Biology, Anatomy, and Environmental Science Teacher
Proposal Summary: The purpose of this experiment is to see how microgravity will affect the cell size of tardigrades, commonly referred to as “water bears.” We will do this by sending up a group of tardigrades and sufficient food supply for them to feast upon. We hope to detect any significant growth difference between the microgravity specimens and earth bound specimens. Any cell size difference would support the idea of microgravity having some effect on the cells.
2. Physiological effects of microgravity on germination and growth of Arabidopsis thaliana
Grades 9-12, Henry E. Lackey High School, Charles County, Maryland
Co-Principal Investigators: Courtney Buckman, Charles Campbell, Kristin Conyers, Devon Johnson, Chinyere McKoy-Nwachukwu, Christine Kim, Sam Paras, Sydney Scott, Paul Warren, and Deborah Cline
Teacher Facilitators: Lara North and Romulo Gabriel, Science Teachers
Proposal Summary: The experiment detailed herein investigates the effect of microgravity on the growth of plant structures during seed germination. The team believes plant growth in a microgravity environment will result in significant changes to the majority of plant structures of the Arabidopsis thaliana model organism. The set of seeds exposed to a microgravity environment will be compared to a set of seeds grown on Earth as a control group. The comparison tool that will be used is a scanning electron microscope. The main focus of this experiment will be on the vascular tissues and the root systems of the models. However, all plant structures will be studied. A. thaliana, a small flowering plant, is widely used as a model organism in plant biology. It was the first plant to have its entire genome sequenced. If this mission is successful, individual genes of the wild type A. thaliana could then be mutated in order to determine the specific effect of microgravity on expression of individual gene sequences. Because A. thaliana has been extensively experimented with, a pattern could emerge when examining the relationship between mutated seeds germinated in space and mutated seeds germinated on Earth.
Miscellaneous - cotton, HCl, NaCl acqueous, oil, natural and synthetic fabric, paper, aluminum foam, Delrin, clay, putty.
Biological fixatives and growth inhibitors can be used to stop or slow down the growth of organisms during an experiment. This can be desirable to avoid confounding your experiment with the effect of gravity upon reentry and return to earth.
This list, including many examples from each discipline, can be found at http://ssep.ncesse.org/teacher-and-student-proposer-resources/document-library/, “Master List of Experiment Samples”