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Two Pennsauken H.S. Students Will Send Experiment To Outer Space

(Pennsauken High seniors Michelle Wan, left, and Lacy Smith.  Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Pennsauken High seniors Michelle Wan, left, and Lacy Smith. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. (CBS) — A couple of South Jersey high school students have prepared a science experiment to be carried out this fall aboard the International Space Station.

In a lab at Pennsauken High School, seniors Michelle Wan and Lacy Smith stirred a solution of uric acid to prepare it for a trip into space this fall.

They’ll be testing how microgravity affects the rate that chicken bones decay in uric acid — something that could lead to better treatments for gout.

Smith has a hypothesis:  “I don’t know why, there’s something in my mind telling me it’s going to decay faster in space,” she tells KYW Newsradio.

They’ll do a control experiment on Earth, then compare the two.

Wan says running a space experiment is an exacting endeavor.

“You have to measure everything very precisely and make sure not to contaminate anything,” she says.  “Because if you do, then the experiment might not turn out the way you want it.”

Theirs was chosen as one of eleven student experiments nationwide to be run aboard the space station.  Their teacher, Peter Woodcock, couldn’t be more proud.

“Their name will be in the record books forever,” he said today.

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