A science experiment conducted by three fifth-grade scientists from Milton Terrace South Elementary School, part of the Ballston Spa School District near the Fab 8 project in upstate New York, was one of 16 projects chosen nationwide by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education for passage on the recent voyage of the space shuttle Endeavour as part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP). Their experiment, which was to determine the effect of microgravity on the development of tilapia eggs, was the only one chosen from New York State.
GLOBALFOUNDRIES recognizes the importance of working with local schools to develop programs and support student achievement in areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and partnered with Ballston Spa School District as a corporate sponsor of SSEP. In addition to providing sponsorship, employees from GF served as judges, helping to evaluate the dozens of experiments that were submitted by students from across the district.
We are excited to be a part of this historic opportunity to promote STEM education in our community by engaging students, teachers, and community members in this high profile science competition. Ballston Spa Central School District is leading the way in STEM learning and education in the region and leading the development of statewide STEM initiatives in K-12 education.
The students watched the Endeavor take off with their experiment from their school library on May 16. The apparatus with the student experiments inside rode in the cabin with the astronauts. After the shuttle was in space for 24 hours, a crew member assigned to the experiments pulled a lever that added a fresh burst of water to the eggs. As soon as the shuttle landed on June 1, the test tubes were sent overnight to the school where the students were surprised to discover three of the five eggs they sent into space had hatched.
A study of the water in the tubes aboard the shuttle showed that while bacteria developed in both samples, fewer fungi developed in space than in the test tubes at the school.
In July, the students will present their findings to a gathering of the international space community in Washington, D.C. All three students are looking at careers in science – chemistry, neuropsychology and NASA.