The five students from Ballenas Secondary School are now eagerly preparing to watch a shuttle power their experiment onto the International Space Station and as Skye Ryan reports, their teacher couldn’t be prouder.

What is growing inside three small test tubes is sending five Parksville students ambitions to new heights.

The teen’s experiment, which demonstrates how alfalfa sprouts could grow in space, will be launched on Mission 13 of the Student Spaceflight Program to the International Space Station later this year.

“It was very exciting when we got selected,” said Grade 11 student Vector Kamel.

The Ballenas Secondary students designed the experiment to help advance space exploration and feed the astronauts that will be away from earth for potentially years at a time.

“Like to get to Mars, it will take a couple years,” said Lachance.

“So we’re testing ways that we can nourish the astronauts to prevent them from like having bone decay and stuff.”

“This way in the future we can send plants and grown plants in space and develop ourselves there,” said Grade 12 student Filipe Pereira.

The young scientists said their success is thanks to their science teacher, Mr. Savage.

“He’s kind of sparked my curiosity,” said Lachance.

Carl Savage said it’s an honour to teach these bright young minds as they inspire him by seeing science with a new appreciation every day.

“You know that’s what makes the job worthwhile,” said Savage.

“When you see a student, all of a sudden the light goes on and they realize ‘this is my future,'”

The Ballenas students have just learned they are the only B.C. experiment to make the cut for Mission 13 this year, and are now excitedly preparing for their experiment’s launch to the International Space Centre in June.

Students plan to start fundraising right away so they can be at Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre to witness the launch like the students at Nanaimo District Secondary School did for their experiment on Mission 12 last year.

 

Skye Ryan