Experiment: Effects of Microgravity on Osteoblast Specialization and Bone Growth
Seven was a lucky number at Bridgewater-Raritan High School this year.
As the excitement mounted around a school-wide science and art competition, seven lucky students from New Jersey started a journey together with the promise of sending their very own science experiment and mission patch aboard the last shuttle flight, thanks to the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. But the lucky seven were not alone. They were joined by a team of science and art teachers who came together with passion and dedication to help support and inspire nearly 300 other students from across the school. Each week, students and teachers met after school to eat pizza and talk science. This strategy paid off in a big way, as teachers and staff shared their research laboratory experience and experimental methods to help students design, plan and propose their very own ideas for a space science experiment for SSEP.
Inspired by the problem of bone loss faced by astronauts living and working in space, Team Osteoblast tackled an experiment to test if pre-bone cells could be stimulated to grow new bone cells in a microgravity environment. The results of their research may one day help find a cure to human bone loss in space and make possible long-term space missions. The team’s excitement and joy is a clear testament to students across America and around the world that anything is possible if you believe in yourself.
Team Osteoblast: Bridgewater-Raritan High School
Rebecca Dorfmueller: NASA Educational Technology Services