Hackett science experiment headed for space

Four students stand together holding certificates

For the second year in a row, an experiment proposed by a team of eighth-grade scientists at William S Hackett Middle School will travel to and be performed on the International Space Station.

Late this spring, astronauts on the space station will perform “The Effect of Microgravity on Oryza Sativa (rice),” the proposal crafted by the team of Everett Mercier, Sadeer Othman, David Stefano Rosales, Yomar Santiago and John Thang, all students of science teacher Craig Ascher. (Thang is missing from the photo at right).

Team members were recognized Tuesday during science class, when Middle School Science Supervisor Amanda Powers congratulated them and presented them with certificates.

In the fall, eighth graders in the district’s three middle schools took part in the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP) and worked in teams to design an experiment that tests the effects of microgravity – weightlessness – on a particular scientific variable.

Ascher’s students also were the district’s semifinalists in the contest.

A group of teachers and administrators judged all the experiments and forwarded the top three to SSEP, which selected the Hackett Oryza Sativa (rice) experiment from others submitted from 39 areas around the country.