Press Release

NASA Invites Students to Experience Real World Science

By SpaceRef Editor
September 1, 2004
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NASA scientists continue to inspire the next generation
of explorers, as they invite high-school students to
participate in a new nationwide science contest. The Hyper-G
contest begins today and closes October 8, 2004.

Teams of students will compete for the opportunity to
conduct their own research using one of the agency’s state-
of-the-art, ground-based, hypergravity facilities, the
International Space Station Test Bed Centrifuge at NASA’s
Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, Calif.
Hypergravity is levels of gravity above 1g, or greater than
Earth’s gravity.

“NASA researchers conduct hypergravity experiments on
centrifuges to understand how gravity causes changes in
humans and other living organisms,” said Jeff Smith,
Assistant Chief of Gravitational Biology Research and lead
project scientist at ARC. “Understanding how a particular
species changes in hypergravity makes it much easier to
predict and understand how it will change in space or on
another planet,” Smith added.

Each student team begins the contest process with a letter
of intent stating their idea for a scientific experiment. In
the fall, the young explorers will provide a proposal
describing the details of the team’s research. NASA
engineers and scientists will be available to advise
students throughout the proposal development process and to
provide feedback to teams after proposals are submitted.

The selected team and adult advisor will visit ARC to
conduct their experiment and tour facilities. During their
visit, students will have a unique opportunity to experience
the real world application of science and engineering.
Teachers will have the opportunity to guide their students
through the scientific process, while learning about current
hands-on methods in biology, physics and mathematics as they
relate to NASA’s Exploration Biology research.

“Experience is the best teacher and the best means of
influencing thoughts toward a lifetime career in science and
engineering,” said Bonnie Dalton, ARC Deputy Director of
Astrobiology and Space Research. “By participating in this
competition students will gain experience that is only
available to research scientists and engineers working within
the field of space biology,” she said.

For more information about the competition, call 650/604-
1387. For contest information on the Internet, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs on the
Internet, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.