CareerTech students take experiment to International Space Station competition
June 2, 2016
A team of biotechnology students from Pontotoc Technology Center will compete at the International Space Station Research and Development conference next month in San Diego.
Corey Ardrey, Justin Harris, Savanna WeaselBear and Seth Bittle finished in the top five in the national Genes in Space Science competition.
The students designed an experiment for the space station as part of an assignment from their teacher, Kay Gamble. They studied genetic changes across generations as natural selection operates in a space environment and how the changes could aid in future space colonization.
The Pontotoc team will receive travel awards to the conference, where they will compete against four other teams to have their experiment carried out on the International Space Station. They will present their experiment to scientists, innovators and educators.
The technology center will receive a miniPCR DNA Discovery System. PCR, which stands for polymerase chain reaction, is used to make more DNA from a small sample. The toolkit Pontotoc Tech will receive includes the same DNA technology that is on the International Space Station.
If the Oklahoma project wins in San Diego, the team will send its DNA experiment to the International Station and be listed as principal investigator in NASA documents. Team members have an opportunity to attend Space Biology Camp at New England BioLabs and will receive travel awards to the Kennedy Space Center to witness the launch of their experiment.
To learn more about the competition, visit http://www.genesinspace.org/blog/25-genes-in-space-awardees-2016/.
Connie Romans, communications and marketing coordinator