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Students make top three in competition

Students make top

three in competition

Students at Bainbridge High School really shot for the moon recently. Well, maybe not so far.

Bainbridge High School seniors Ella Banyas, Mafalda Borges, Emma Gray and Lydia Weyand were top finalists in a science competition to send student experiments to the International Space Station.

“They’ll get recognition on the national website, and a certificate,” said Bainbridge High School physics teacher Enrique Chee.

The competition, the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, is offered by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education.

“The great thing about this competition is it’s actually what scientists do in the research field,” Chee said. “They had to do the same thing: Submit a proposal. They got a good taste of what scientists have to go through when writing proposals.”

While the students didn’t win the ultimate prize — to have their experiment carried out on board the space station — they did make the top three cut. It was an impressive feat, given that a total of 1,254 experiments were submitted this year by students all over the country.

What set island students apart?

The young island scientists wowed judges with their experiment, “The Effect of Micro Gravity on the Spontaneous Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells.”

The curious students sought to discover what the effects of a space environment would have on stem cells.

Chee said his students used the “power of the Internet” and did plenty of research for their proposal.

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