ECTOR COUNTY, TX (KWES) - Some students at ECISD are getting the chance to send a science experiment to space. It's part of a project called the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. But they need a little bit of help. You can help fund their project by just eating.
Chili's on 42nd in Odessa is helping out Falcon Early College High School students' space program.
It's a program with the National Center for Earth Space Science Education, it selects an experiment from several school districts around the country, where they'll send the experiment to space. There, an astronaut will test the experiment and send back an analysis after 4 to 6 weeks.
One of the experiments include a plastic-eating bacteria that was discovered in Japan two years ago.
"Basically the bacteria can degrade the plastic," said Sophomore Deidre Morales. "Granted at a very slow rate, but it can do it and it has really good implications because it's the first of its kind. I was focusing on pollution because plastic is definitely something major. We have a ton of it and we don't know what to do with it. We'll burn it but its detrimental to the environment."
The students will travel to Washington, D.C. where they'll present their project to nationally-recognized scientists and engineers.
"It feels extraordinary to work with people you know that can make a big difference in the world such as Nobel prize winners," said Francis Dapanas, a sophomore at Falcon.
The mission is set to launch in spring, showing these students where they're reaching, is beyond the stars.
"It only brings some meaning to the town Odessa because it's a small West Texas town. Many people know it from Friday Night Lights or athletic programs, but I want it to be known as an academic program," said Juan Mendoza, a sophomore.
Since this project is only funded by grants, Chili's in Odessa is also giving back some of the portions of what they make today to the students. The proceeds will go to the students' flight fare, food and stay while they're in D.C.
All you have to do is let Chili's know you're with UTPB Falcon, but remember, it's only happening at the Chili's on 42nd in Odessa today, Mar. 8.
Chili's open at 10:45 a.m. and close at 10:00 p.m.