The high school winning patch design by artist Eryn Goodman, Kwalikum Secondary School, Qualicum Beach, that will accompany the science experiment into space. -Submitted photo

Parksville high school students headed to Kennedy Space Center

Five Ballenas students will be in Florida to watch experiment they designed launch to ISS

Fifty years after the first moon landing, five Ballenas Secondary students will be in Florida to watch a rocket, carrying an experiment they designed, launch to the International Space Station (ISS).

The students will leave for the United States on July 16 and be there until July 22. The experiment will orbit earth for close to four weeks and during that time it will be conducted by ISS astronauts.

“It took a village to make this happen, and we’re incredibly grateful to our community for getting behind the students and providing financial support for this ‘field trip’ of a lifetime,” said Gillian Wilson, associate superintendent of schools. “The students are having an amazing and rare educational opportunity. It has been incredible to watch their confidence grow each time they’ve presented—including speaking at the #BCTechSummit—and now they have the field trip. It’s very exciting.”

While at the Kennedy Space Center, the students will present a scientific poster and a video they produced will play in the rocket launch viewing area.

RELATED: Ballenas student experiment going into space

Two mission patches, created by School District 69 students, Julia Chambers from Arrowview Elementary and Eryn Goodman from Kwalikum Secondary, will accompany the science experiment into space. The two artists won a school-district-wide design competition, which was judged by the public during an exhibit of entries at The Old School House Art Centre (TOSH) .

RELATED: Ballenas students launch fundraiser for U.S. travel to promote science experiment

The student experiment, referred to as #SproutsInSpace has a formal title: Investigating the Growth Patterns of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) Sprouts in Microgravity: A Potential Nourishment for Future Manned Spaceflight. The experiment was developed when SD69 was invited to participate in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), an initiative based in the United States. SSEP provided the opportunity, and $18,000, donated by the Karen and Fred Green Fund (held at Vancouver Foundation) and Magellan Aerospace, allowed it to happen.

Members of the public interested in contributing to student’s trip can make a tax-deductible donation online at Canada Helps https://bit.ly/2NIvady.

— NEWS staff, submitted

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The elementary school winning patch design by Julia Chambers, Arrowview Elementary, Qualicum Beach, that will accompany the science experiment into space. - Submitted photo

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