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Petaluma High School Students and Staff Published in the National High School Journal of Science

Congratulations to the Petaluma High School (PHS) students and staff who were published in the National High School Journal of Science on June 21st, 2019! 

The paper delves into the group's experiment to test whether a particular algae, called Scenedesmus, could be grown in space. If it can be grown in space, then it might be able to be used as a fuel source, which could allow for more long term space flights and explorations due to the fact that it's expensive to bring fuel into space and producing fuel in space could be cheaper and more efficient.

The project started in 2015 when students in the PHS Science Department participated in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), which is a STEM initiative that immerses students in authentic science and includes sending experiments to the International Space Station. 

Additionally, a significant aspect of authentic science is sharing findings with the larger community and getting peer feedback. PHS did this in two different ways. First, they hosted a meeting of the local Sonoma County Astronomical Society and presented their preliminary findings to that group. This gave students an opportunity to make an oral presentation to a group of peers and receive feedback prior to publication, something that scientists often do. Later, the group wrote up their findings and presented them for publication to an appropriate peer review journal so that their findings could be disseminated to a broader scientific audience.

Check out their published article, "At What Rate Will Algae Reproduce in a Micro-Gravitational Setting Versus on Earth?" on the National High School Journal of Science's website.

You can find the full list of the authors of the paper below.

Paper authors: Morgan Giraud, Tara Thomas, Alana Roberts, Lulabel Seitz, Liza Strong, Miranna Lindberg, Gary Ellwood, Kim Garcia Arechiga, Lily Mitchell, Romeo Marroquin Ajcac, Alondra Arango-Soriano, Citlalle Calderon, Violet Wilson, Victor Brazil, Linda Righetti Judah.

Peer Reviewer: Akhila Gundavelli

Professional Reviewers: Dr. Frances Wilkerson SFSU and Dr. Carol Vines UCD

PHS science group working on the experiment Group of PHS science students Two students using microscopes