GLENDALE, Wis. — Students at Glen Hills Middle School are getting a once in a lifetime opportunity by sending several experiments to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

What You Need To Know

  • Glen Hills Middle School STEM students sent experiments testing CO2 in microgravity and a nano generator to NASA

  • Students are also using an ExoLab to test how plants grow in lunar soil

  • Glen Hills Teacher Lalitha Murali said she wanted her students to see that their input is valuable while also exploring the opportunities a career in STEM can provide

Elena Johansen, an eighth grader, put a bit of aluminum foil and a small bead inside of a plastic eggshell.

She said she hopes it can serve as a nano generator in space.

“I think having something on hand that could generate electricity, even if it is just a small reusable source that could be something that is potentially useful,” said Johansen.

Johansen said they are also using an ExoLab to see how plants react to lunar soil.

(Spectrum News 1/Phillip Boudreaux)

“The astronauts in the ISS (International Space Station) will need this kind of food, especially if we are going to be having some sort of lunar civilization,” said Johansen. “One of those civilizations needs some sort of sustainable food production.”

Johansen’s classmate Philippe Geli is working with a device designed to detect how CO2 operates in microgravity.

“We’re focusing on CO2, which is denser than air, and this is going to be a problem for astronauts on the ISS because too much CO2 may lead to certain death,” said Geli.

NASA gave Glen Hills teacher Lalitha Murali a chance to try out their microgravity experiment.

She said she wanted her students to see that their input is valuable while also exploring the opportunities a career in STEM can provide.

“What a cool opportunity for sixth, seventh and eighth graders to see their idea come into action and how that is going to help our future astronauts,” said Murali. “I get goosebumps to even think about it and because of them, I got the opportunity to fly a zero-gravity flight and they were able to see their experiment in action.”

(Please courtesy: Lalitha Murali)

It’s something Geli won’t forget because he said he wants to become an astronaut.

“Doing something that helps with space really helps my career, you know,” said Geli.

Johansen said she has visions of becoming an environmental engineer.

“I’m someone who really likes a challenge, problem solving and something to really look into and research, but also find a creative way to solve it ourselves,” she said.

They said these experiments have motivated them even more to one day pursue careers in STEM.

Murali said three students from Glen Hills will also go to Virginia from June 17-20 to see the rocket launch.