GSSM Students to Travel to National Conference for Microgravity Competition

October 31, 2016

UPDATE: Team Snap, Crackle, Pop won the NASA Capillary Flow Challenge at the ASGSR conference. The team consists of Gracen Mueller, child of Kelly and Jeff Mueller of Greenville; Brennan Cain, child of Lee and Kyron Cain of York; and Ryan Cuentes, child of Analisa and Carlito Cuentes of Greenwood. Pictured above: Dr. Al DeGennaro, Gracen Mueller, and Brennan Cain receiving their certificate. Congratulations!

October 26, 2016

The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) is pleased to announce that its first-ever Microgravity Club will be traveling to the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR) conference October 27-30 in Cleveland, Ohio.  

Two teams within the new club recently had their proposals accepted to compete in NASA’s Capillary Flow Challenge designed by ASGSR in conjunction with the NASA Glenn Research Center. The teams have been building experimental designs to ship to NASA where NASA’s 2.2-second drop tower will perform tests on their designs.

“I'm really impressed with the great depth of research done by both teams of students who are participating in NASA's Capillary Flow Challenge,” said Dr. David Whitbeck, faculty advisor to the Microgravity Club. “It is fantastic to be able to present this opportunity for students to pursue their passion outside of their course work and required summer research experience.”

The “Snap Crackle and Pop” Team consists of Gracen Mueller, child of Kelly and Jeff Mueller of Greenville; Brennan Cain, child of Lee and Kyron Cain of York; and Ryan Cuentes, child of Analisa and Carlito Cuentes of Greenwood.

“Team A” is composed of Jack Madden, child of Mary Wylie and Bryan Madden of Chapin; Kaitlyn Baldizzi, child of Christine and Robert Baldizzi of Lake Wylie; Hunter Damron, child of Maribeth and Greg Damron of Edgemoor; and Chloe Harris, child of Wanda and Chris Harris of Great Falls.

“Being a part of the Microgravity Club was a wonderful experience because I was able to work with a team of people who were inspired and enthusiastic about working on this challenge,” said Kaitlyn Baldizzi. “I enjoyed researching and designing a project that has a real-world application.  It is inspiring to look back and see the relevance of our research project to the scientific world.”

Later this year, students will also have an opportunity to participate in a microgravity experiment that will be dropped at Portland State University’s (PSU) Dryden Drop Tower. PSU students will build and drop a rig engineered by GSSM students and data will be sent to GSSM for analysis and presentation.

For more information on the Microgravity Club at GSSM, contact Dr. David Whitbeck at whitbeck@gssm.k12.sc.us or Dr. Al DeGennaro at degennaro@gssm.k12.sc.us.

Pictured above: From left to right, Brennan Cain, Ryan Cuentes, Gracen Mueller, Kaitlyn Baldizzi, Jack Madden, Hunter Damron and Chloe Harris

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