Last year, some our amazing, young scientists competed in national competitions. Three students worked on a submission for the Army Corps of Engineers' "e-cybermission," a web-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) competition for students to explore how STEM works in their world, while working as a team to solve problems in their community. The group worked on coding to create an interface between different operating systems. They worked hard outside the classroom and developed skills in coding, teamwork and communication.
In second effort, another member of the Class of 2021 developed an experiment using PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) to test how astronauts' diet affects their microbiome for NASA's "Genes in Space" competition. She compared the gut microflora in mice on Earth and on the International Space Station (ISS) to see if there was a change due to the radiation and specific diet to which astronauts are exposed. Working independently, she researched how the microflora affects a persons' psychology and applied that to an astronaut's environment. The goal of her experiment is to help NASA develop diets for long-term space travel.