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Broward County, Florida
Three students wearing lab coats and goggles with lab equipment

Students at Crystal Lake Middle School tested the germination rate of crab apple seeds on Earth. The seeds were donated by Ohio State University. Image Credit: SSEP

Experiment: Apples in Space

At Crystal Lake Middle School, involvement with the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program started as a research contest and an opportunity for students to learn how to write a proposal. Approximately 50 students originally participated in creating proposals to be submitted to SSEP. In the end, it has turned into an amazing opportunity for our students to participate in a real-life learning experience.

Their project entails an experiment that will determine if apple seeds will germinate in the environment of microgravity. The students have chosen to use crab apple seeds because of their small size and capability to grow easily. The students originally selected this experiment because of their interest in plants and whether the plants could be grown the same way in space where there is less gravity. The students are hoping that the data they collect from this experiment will increase the interest of scientists in this matter. As the students continue to work on this project, their excitement grows and there is an increased awareness in the science community of the applications of the results.

At Crystal Lake, we are all very excited about the launch of the shuttle and learning if apple seeds are able to germinate in microgravity!

Melissa Keefe: Crystal Lake Middle School
David Hitt: NASA Educational Technology Services