Galesburg Students Participate In Space Experiment - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Galesburg Students Participate In Space Experiment

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Scientists onboard the International Space Station will be studying caterpillars in space and so will some kids in Galesburg. Their mission: to compare the insects in space to those here on Earth. It's an out-of-this-world way to learn more about Monarch butterflies.

Fourth grade science teacher Roxanne Green says the kids are excited about the project,

"We listen with baited breath to see the reports and the kids say, 'they're not talking about Monarchs'. I say, 'they have a lot of other projects, not the foremost thing on their minds,' but it is for us."

That's because the class got its own collection of caterpillars. The students are supposed to chart their progress on Earth, while scientists watch what happens to the caterpillars in space and then share that information with the kids.

Will the caterpillars in orbit turn into butterflies, just like they do on Earth? No one knows for sure, but the children are anxious to learn the results.

"It's fun to learn what they can do in space, said student Baylee Bramlett. "So, I'm excited to learn that."

A couple of days after the shuttle docks with the ISS, the kids will start getting updates on what's happening. In the meantime, the young scientists have their own theories about what to expect.

"I don't think it will be able to fly cause there's no gravity, cause their wings push up and there is no air in space," deduced Connor Larson.

Green has been teaching her students about Monarchs for several years. When she found out about this experiment, she jumped at the chance to bring it to her classroom.

"It's exciting to know that you are doing something that someone has spent hours researching and organizing and testing, and we're trying to replicate it here," Green added.