Central NY Schools' Science Experiments Set To Soar

It's not your typical school science experiment.

"We came up with it in October and have been working on it since then," said Central Square Middle School Sixth Grader Faith Farley. 

For months, five sixth graders at Central Square have been waiting to find out whether their school science experiment would have a chance to fly 90,000 feet above the ground.

"To get accepted, we had to write a proposal about what we were planning to do, so that was challenging, and then we had to write step-by-step directions," added Farley. 

Last week, the students found out they were one of out of 10 schools in the country selected. The space glider will attempt to break world records in aviation by soaring to new heights.

"Just the fact these were selected by people from NASA, by people from colleges and universities around the country ... They looked over the proposal and chose it, so it has some real scientific merit," explained Central Square Earth Science Teacher James Kuhl.

Central Square wasn't the only school in the area selected; a team from Cazenovia High School also was chosen.

"Some science experiments last for about a month, or maybe a week," said Cazenovia High School student Eli Hunt. "But this one is going to take us into our ninth grade year, and we're very excited."

Experiments on board the glider will fly to levels where the air density and temperatures are similar to that of Mars.

"We don't have a lot of data on the mesosphere and what impact that has on living things," said Cazenovia High School Teacher Kristin Reichert, "so we're going to get that as well."

The flight -- sponsored by the non-profit Teachers in Space -- will take off this August from Argentina, and the students expect to have their results back in the fall.

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