SXSWedu Preview: Genes in Space Gives Middle and High School Science Students A Chance To Have Their DNA Experiments Performed On The International Space Station
Is there really alien life? How does space travel affect our eyes, bones and other organs? How does cosmic radiation affect our DNA. These questions and more are posed by 7-12th graders all the time in science classes across the country. The International Space Station (ISS) is one of the only places that DNA experiments, testing these ideas, could actually be carried out. But it’s not like middle and high school students can just pack a bag and hop on a rocket to the ISS.
Genes In Space is a national science competition that encourages students in grades 7-12 to become DNA space pioneers. The contest calls for students to propose a polymerase chain reaction in space. The proposals are evaluated by scientists from Boeing, miniPCR, Harvard, MIT and more.
The judging is divided into four major criteria:
- Have you identified an interesting question? 25 points
- Have you stated a clear hypothesis? 25 points
- Does your hypothesis require the unique environment of the ISS? 30 points
- Does your experimental design make creative use of PCR in space? 20 points
The experiments selected by the team of scientists will be conducted on the International Space Station. Along the way students will receive mentorship from PhD scientists from Harvard and MIT. They’ll also present their ideas at a leading space science conference and even attend space biology camp.
Genes In Space is one of the most highly regarded STEM contests in the world and attracts attention from top tier science professionals, major enterprise partners and even Hollywood. Previous Genes In Space winners, Anna-Sophia Boguraev and Julian Rubinfein helped Marvel Entertainment explain the science behind Groot, the regenerating tree like alien creature from Guardians Of The Galaxy.
The contest is opened to students in grades 7-12. Students can submit applications individually or in groups of up to four. Each applicant needs to have an adult sponsor. They also must be able to travel to San Francisco for the ISS R&D Conference July 23-26, 2018 (travel funding to be provided). Applications need to be submitted y April 20, 2018 and will be selected by May 15, 2018.
Complete details can be found at genesinspace.org and you can visit with Genes In Space at SXSWedu, March 5-8th in Austin Texas in the Learning Expo, booth #601.