Brooklyn students are in for a blast

A project designed by five sixth grade students from P.S./I.S. 30 Mary White Ovington in Bay Ridge will be launched into space and spend six weeks on the International Space Station, and now the students and their teacher are trying to raise the money that would allow the students to go to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to watch the launch.

The team won the first ever International Space Station Challenge held by the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, in partnership with the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) and the Ramon Foundation, which asked kids to design an experiment that they’d like to see fly in outer space. The sixth grade team of Dana Ahmad, Sundous Alijahmi, Joshua Feliciano, Jiahao Guan and Joyce Wong, and led by science teacher Nathan Tubbs, beat out 42 other teams from the five middle schools involved in the contest to win.

Their winning experiment design explores how microgravity affects the germination of pot mum seeds, and will be launched into space on July 16. To determine the impact on the seeds, the students will create two identical experiments; one for the space station, with an astronaut on board conducting the experiment, and the other to be conducted in a lab by the students.

The results from both experiments will then be compared.IMG_1172

“The students were immensely excited, very surprised.” Nathan Tubbs said. “When we got to see all the other proposals, we sensed that it wasn’t just a small ordeal.”

This triumph is extremely special to the students and Tubbs, which is why it is Tubbs’ mission to take his students to Florida to see the launch in person.

“Most of my students have rarely left Brooklyn, much less traveled to another state,” Tubbs said in the video on his Go Fund Me page. “This launch would be concrete proof of how far they can go…they will come home knowing that they can achieve great things—because they already have.”

However, first Tubbs and his students need donations in the amount of $20,000 to make watching the launch in person a reality. Donations can be made via the Go Fund Me page at or by sending a check made payable to P.S./I.S. 30 PTA to the following address: 7002 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209. Please write “Rocket Launch” in the memo line.

“I believe that seeing the launch would be a life-changing educational opportunity for my students, and I want them to be there that day.” Tubbs said on the Go Fund Me Page.


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