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Hey Kids! Get Your Experiment Done By Astronauts in Space

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
November 6, 2010
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Expedition 20 - the first six-strong International Space Station crew - assembled in the Zvezda module for the welcoming ceremony immediately after hatch opening. Credit: ESA


NASA’s “Kids in Micro-g” challenge is accepting proposals from students in fifth through eighth grades to design a classroom experiment that also can be performed by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Proposals are due by Dec. 8.

The experiments should examine the effect of weightlessness on various subjects: liquids, solids, the law of physics and humans. The experiments are expected to have observably different results in microgravity than in the classroom. The apparatus for the experiments must be constructed using materials from a special tool kit aboard the station. The kit contains items commonly found in classrooms for science experiments. The experiments must take 30 minutes or less to set up, run and take down.

“This is a wonderful program that gives students the opportunity to have their experiments carried out in space by astronauts,” said Mark Severance, ISS national laboratory education projects manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “The students will compare the results of experiments conducted in the classroom with those conducted in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station.”

A panel of microgravity scientists, classroom teachers, NASA education and station operations personnel will select the winner and five runners-up. Their experiments will be performed on the orbiting laboratory next spring. During this past summer, astronauts performed nine student experiments aboard the space station. NASA selected those experiments from 132 submissions.

To learn more about how to submit proposals for the 2011 challenge, contact the ISS Payloads Office at [email protected] or call: 281-244-6187.

More information about the challenge and other NASA education programs also is available at:

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