East HS students launch science project on ISS

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - When Mission 11 launches for the International Space Station this summer, a little bit of Rochester will be on board.

That little piece of the Flower City is all thanks to students at East High School.

The students who are a part of the project were chosen by the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.

Chemistry teacher Mary Courtney got her students involved, making it a class project that quickly turned into something bigger.

"To be the only school in New York State and one of only 21 in US and Canada, taking part in this opportunity is really exciting," Courtney said.

From researching a topic to writing a report, her students have been experimenting on their own using a cyanobacteria spirulina.

Their experiment focuses on seeing if the cyanobacteria can grow from a freeze dry version into a living organism to be able to maintain a food source.

"I've learned about phytoplankton," said Tailor Davis, a junior at East High School who collaborated on the project. "I never really knew about it before because it's not what I wanted to do in life, but it's really cool to learn about it and how it works what it provides for earth."

Senior Binti Mohamed also got a lot out of this learning experience.

"To be honest, this project helped me learn that science is really good and I might go into something to study the brain because of this," Mohamed said.

The project is set to launch in June and will spend 6-8 weeks on the International Space Station.

During that time, the students will be conducting a similar one in the classroom to compare the two subjects.

Community groups and businesses contributed $24,000 in funding to help make the experiment possible.

After the experiment returns from the ISS, the students will be able to record the results back in Rochester.

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