SHHS Students' Science Experiment Chosen By NASA
January 17, 2014South Houston High School
Despite their lack of noriety, SHHS's "NASA group" literally has been shooting for the stars. They recently got news that their experiment, which was started about a year ago, was chosen by NASA and sent to the International Space Station for testing.
This afterschool club is composed of five extraordinary people and a sponsor who just loves to mix chemicals up. Mr. Jorge Olivares and juniors, Karen Perez, Arlen Suarez, Melanie Orellana, Diego Medina, and Christian Escobar.
"It is so cool to be recognized by NASA," said Arlen Suarez. "It's hard to believe that we started mixing chemicals in our school lab and suddenly our experiment is now in space. I am so happy and honored to be part of the NASA group."
"We got this idea involving expanding foam to help make repairs to the space station," said Karen Perez. "We didn't know if it would work in space so it was important to actually have it tested out in those elements."
The project got approved by the Johnson Space Center nearly a year later after it was started, shipped to the ISS via rocket launch, and was tested in space on Monday, January 13th at 6 am.
"I am so proud of my students," said Mr. Olivares. "Who would have imagined that this would happen?"
South Houston High School was one of the few chosen schools to be able to send an experiment to space and to have the astronauts test it out. SHHS's experiment involves the reaction of two polymers that becomes a foam and after a set amount of time, hardens and sticks to whatever it touches. This reaction is commonly used to seal drafts in windows and other home improvement projects. The purpose is to see if microgravity would affect the performance of this polymer reaction, and if it does not then maybe the space crew would be able to use this chemical reaction to seal any minor damages on the I.S.S. instead of spending millions of dollars on new equipment. The students hope to make a huge success and help innovate the way space is to be explored.