EVANSTON, WY. – A team of Evanston Middle School students, comprised of Mrs. Graham’s 8th grade science class, were recently selected as one of 60 winning teams from across the country, in NASA’s TechRise Student Challenge. The nationwide contest, now in its second year, is designed to engage students in technology, science, and space exploration.

Each team of students will receive $1,500 to build their experiment and will continue to work throughout the remainder of the school year on their project.

The students will also receive a flight box in which to build their experiment, technical support from professional engineers, and an assigned spot on a NASA-sponsored high-altitude balloon flight.

On the day of the flight the payloads will gather data as the balloons launch to an altitude of approximately 70,000 feet where they will be exposed to the unique thermal and atmospheric environment of the stratosphere. This will provide conditions for student experiments that cannot be replicated in ground-based tests.

The flight is scheduled for sometime this summer.

Winning proposals in the NASA TechRise Student Challenge included experiments that explored everything from space travel to botany to exoplanets. 

The Evanston Middle School students’ experiment is titled: Strong Seeds in Space, and is designed to explore controlling conditions and factors needed to keep seeds viable during space travel.

Eric Christenot, Principal of Evanston Middle School, congratulated Mrs. Graham and her students on their well-earned accomplishment, stating “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mrs. Graham and her 8th grade science class (Period 5),for having their experiments proposal selected and funded to be part of one of NASA’s future experimental flights into space.” “As a finalist, NASA will now fund the experiment and the student’s proposal will become reality!” “We all look forward to hearing about the results in the near future.”

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Photo: National Weather Service