Would you like to send your homework into outer space?
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is now accepting applications from high school students who would like to reserve a spot on a future space shuttle trip for their science project.
The competition, sponsored by NASA and the National Science Teachers Association, drew 1,500 entries when it was first held last year. Among the 10 winners were a study of how insects adapt their flight when they are weightless, how crystals form when there is no gravity and whether training astronauts with biofeedback techniques can help them get to sleep in space. Each student experiment that makes a flight will be given up to an hour of an astronaut's time.
NASA hopes to schedule the experiments on future shuttle flights, though none of last year's winning projects, which were announced in May, is scheduled yet.
Interested students in grades 9 to 12 must submit proposals to their science teachers to see if they meet the competition's rules. Eligible projects must then be submitted to the regional directors of the science teachers' association by Feb. 1. The projects go through several steps of review before up to 20 of them are selected. The winners and their teachers get a trip to a symposium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida next summer and a commemorative medallion.
Interested students should have their teachers write: Space Shuttle Student Involvement Project, National Science Teachers Association, 1742 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, 20009.