Omaha Public Radio News
4:02 pm
Thu April 14, 2011

OPS students' experiment will fly on next space shuttle

Omaha, NE – North High Magnet School science students have an experiment that will take off with the next Space Shuttle flight.

Curriculum Specialist Dan Sitzman says last fall, students from the school entered a national contest to have a student-designed experiment selected for a flight on the space shuttle. The school received 40 proposals which were subsequently narrowed down to 15. He says an external review board then selected 4. Sitzman says the top 4 were sent to a national review board and 1 team's proposal was selected to fly on the space shuttle. He says the group has spent the last few months getting everything together, "It's a 125 micro liters, so just a drop or two of solution. And what they're studying is the anti-bacterial properties of Lysozyme. Lysozyme is an enzyme that is naturally found in humans and other living things that act as an anti-bacterial. And students are looking at how being in microgravity would affect the ability to be in anti-bacterial solution."

Sitzman says when the space shuttle returns; students will take their solution and put it onto an augur plate to see if it kills the bacteria that's growing on the plate. He says students will then compare that to similar setups that were left on earth for the same length of time the solution was up in space.