ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Falcon Early College High School students got selected as finalists for a program with National Center for Earth Space Science Education.
"Falcon is a place that is hardly known," said Sophomore Fabian Carrasco. "So we're trying to break off of what we originally are. We're trying to make a name for ourselves."
The program gives students the opportunity to create an experiment that will be conducted at the International Space Station. An astronaut will have 4-6 weeks to work on the experiment where an analysis will be sent back.
"It's basically a way of expressing my science knowledge," said Freshman Leo Degario.
Three groups at Falcon were chosen by ECISD, NCESSE will select the one experiment in December. The SSEP National Conference is in the summer in Washington, D.C. where all three groups can present their experimental designs and attend featured presentations by nationally recognized scientists and engineers.
"As a young kid, I've been fascinated with space," said Sophomore Didre Morales. "This is an excellent opportunity for me to develop those skills."
The groups are working on experiments from decomposition of mushroom and orange peels, to ant colonization and experimenting with a plastic-eating bacteria.
"Eventually, we're going to need to colonize another planet," said Sophomore Juan Mendoza. "We're going to leave a lot of trash behind. We need to dispose of this trash than seeing it fly out into space."
The students said the experiments are steps to learning about life in space. If Mars, for example, is one day colonized, they can use what they know to find out how human life can function outside of Earth.
"Like Mars, I'm sure if we could do something and find a form of oxygen to be created on there, we can send ants and other insects to get it started because they're good at that," said Sophomore Devin Arriaga.
The mission is set to launch in spring of next year.
"They're [the students] really creative," said Damien Galindo. "They're not like other students who think inside the box. They're so diverse, all of our ideas are so complex and different."