Thursday, September 19, 2019

Middle School Students making breakthroughs in science with ROBOTICS

Nice piece from CBS12 News:

PAHOKEE, Fla. (CBS12) — Scientists in the making at Pahokee Middle School are making breakthroughs in science at just 11 to 13 years old.

They’ve even caught NASA’s attention.

Pahokee is normally known for the touchdowns under the Friday Night Lights, but at Pahokee Middle School, the Robotics Club is changing the narrative.

“My belief is that all they needed is the opportunity,” says Luis Paniagua, the science teacher who founded the club that is tackling important issues.

“There's so many things we could discover in the world,” seventh-grader Alondra Campos said.
So when NASA listed treating astronauts faced with kidney stones in space as one of its problems, the kids didn't hesitate.

Astronauts in space are susceptible to kidney stones caused by losing a lot of calcium.

“We knew we wanted to help because it's a very hard issue to solve,” eighth-grader Nayeli Perez said.
The idea started with this water gun and a game of catch.

After creating the idea, they also received input from researchers at the University of Washington.
“We decided to call them to ask them about our project and they said that it was one of a kind,” eighth-grader Jonathan Perez said.

“I couldn't believe it. I thought it was a joke. I thought somebody was playing a joke on me. This was work at the level of my beginning of middle graduate students who are working on a PhD” says Larry Crum, a research professor at the University of Washington.

The concept utilizes hydrodynamics using water waves to break up kidney stones with the help of a reflector.

It's not a simple solution, but these kids have a bright future; they want to do a myriad of occupations in the STEM sector.

If they succeed, they will be the first in their family to do so.

Right now, the robotics advisors are in talks with the University of Washington in hopes that a work-study program can be made in conjunction with the university so that their studies can continue at a higher level.

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