Cazenovia Takes Science to the Edge of Space

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Class experiment will fly to stratosphere on new subspace glider

77ec2da1-4e52-4df1-a02a-54959d17b3d7Kristin Reichert, a Cazenovia High School science teacher and her 8th grade students are preparing to send a science payload to the edge of space.  The class’s experiment is one of just 10 chosen by Teachers in Space, Inc. (TIS http://teachers-in-space.com/) and the Perlan Project (http://www.perlanproject.org/) to bring space science directly into the classroom. Perlan II is designed to ride stratospheric mountain waves to altitudes over 90,000 feet, setting a new world record for glider flight. What’s cool for educators is that inside the sailplane is a payload bay to carry CubeSat sized experiments (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CubeSat).  The classroom experiments chosen January 15, 2016 address such topics as Atmospheric Particulate Density, Stratospheric Sampling for Photosynthetic Bacteria, and Ion Propulsion Efficiency. 65076faa-5748-4bcc-bd6f-3f6fba6152faCazenovia’s experiment, “Mesospheric Radiation Exposure,” studies the effects of the mesosphere, specifically radiation, on plant seeds and protists. There is little information regarding how plants and protists grow in a non-ozone protected environment. The students designed an experiment to send plant seeds and sclerotial stage slime mold samples up to the mesosphere and then grow them. The samples will be brought back to Cazenovia to grow and then compared to samples that have remained at ground level.  

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