By: Kelly Sommariva

The experiment is on the bacteria E. Coli, and it will soon be aboard the International Space Station.

Five seniors in Dr. Cindy Larson-Miller's advanced biology class are going above and beyond the average science student. "We're studying the effects of micro gravity on E. Coli and basically we want to see if the DNA in E. Coli will mutate while in space," said Amanda Gosselin, one of the seniors.

Back in November, the group proposed the experiment as part of a nationwide program for Earth and space science, and it got selected. "I truly believe kids need real science application to wonder and create and design and what a better way to do that, then to have a real experiment where they get to actually follow through with their project and see what happens," said Dr. Cindy Larson-Miller, science teacher at Norris.

The girls are now working on getting it perfect. Very soon, the experiment will be launched to the International Space Station for about six weeks. Then, the students will compare results with what they have back here in Nebraska.

The girls agree designing an experiment lets their creativity soar. "When you have a project for school they tell you what to research and they tell you each step you should take. Just taking all the different paths to discover what you're trying to research, I think it is something I've really enjoyed," said Brianna Peterson, one of the seniors.

For their teacher, those words are what learning is all about. "To me, that's real science. They're finding out what will happen and they're contributing to the body of science knowledge," she said.

The team is sending off the experiment next week and then it will launch in March. The project will be sent to outer space with a patch designed by 5th graders also at Norris.