A group of ninth graders is sending their project to outer space - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

A group of ninth graders is sending their project to outer space


With some of the highest GPA's in their ninth grade class, Robert Hwang, Rachel Hodgins and Tammy Tran from North High School were picked to participate in an adventure that's out of this world. As part of the STEM initiative, the three were selected to design an experiment that tests what impact zero-gravity has on a physical, chemical or biological system.

"We will be seeing if peanut allergies still exist in Space," said group member Rachel Hodgins.

"Allergies, they bind on earth like with the allergen and anti-bodies," said group member Robert Hwang. "Will they still bind in space?"

Out of thousands of project entries from students across the country, the group's project was picked to be one of the 24 microgravity experiments to fly aboard the International Space Station.

"We have worked so hard and the journey was long, but it was so worth it," said Hodgins.

"It was a huge honor," said Hwang. "And I was really proud of my group."

"Excited and shocked because all of our hard work paid off," said group member Tammy Tran.

The idea for the project, called "Go Nuts in Space," stemmed from the personal experience of one group member.

"Since Robert is allergic to peanuts that just kind of sparked it," said Hodgins.

"I have to sniff my food or ask the waiter what's in it before I eat something, so I don't have a reaction," said Hwang. "I'm wondering if this project will help find a cure for allergies."

"Go Nuts in Space" will blast off into orbit as part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program Mission 7 to the ISS.

"It's not over yet," said Hodgins. "We will be doing it here on Earth while they're doing it in space and we will be comparing the results as it goes along."

Waiting to see if these Siouxland students will make history, miles above the Earth.

Mission 7 to the International Space Station is scheduled for launch in the fall of 2015.

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