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CORCORAN – On Friday, Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) and Joe Ashley from the California Resources Corporation presented a $2,500 check to John Muir Middle School.

The money is to help send students to Washington, D.C., to present findings from their Mission 12 experiment on the International Space Station in the annual Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) National Conference at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

“Supporting and encouraging students to pursue the sciences and providing the opportunity for them to engage in high level experiments with scientific experts will help prepare students for current and future success,” Salas said.

The SSEP is about inspiring America's next generation of scientists and engineers by immersing and engaging students in every facet of real science.

As 6th graders, four John Muir students designed science proposals, created hypotheses and ran experiments during Mission 12 to see if broccoli would germinate better in space than on Earth. The students discovered that the broccoli experiment from space grew better than on Earth.

“These young women are setting the example for the next generation of home grown scientists, right here in our own backyard,” Salas continued.

Now as 7th grade students, they will be able to formally present their experiment designs and results to their peers at the annual SSEP Conference.

“These amazing young ladies created an experiment that was performed on the International Space Station by real astronauts. Now, they will have the incredible opportunity to present their findings from the experiment at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.,” said Dave Whitmore, principal of John Muir Middle School. “This is an example that when given the opportunity, our students' potential is limitless.”

Corcoran has been accepted as one of the 38 communities in the U.S., Canada and Brazil to participate in SSEP’s Mission 13. John Muir Middle School has already begun experiments to see if shrimp will grow in space.

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