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Students' experiment to take off

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ARGYLE School is officially part of the space program.

Three budding Grade 5 scientists from the tiny elementary school northwest of Stonewall have been selected to have their space experiment carried out by an astronaut on the International Space Station as early as April.

Ethan Enns, Ryan Petricig and Avery Good formed the winning team.

Theirs will be among 16 experiments to be performed on the space station, the rest coming from the United States.

"They were really surprised, but really thrilled," said Maria Nickel, a teacher at Woodlands School and a really serious space science advocate.

Nickel had convinced organizers of the competition to designate Interlake School Division as a region to be guaranteed an experiment would be performed.

She had grades 5 and 6 students at eight Interlake schools working on projects all fall.

"Theirs is, how does cosmic radiation affect the DNA mutation of cancer cells, and will antioxidant green tea affect that mutation?" Nickel explained.

Nickel is hoping to establish a communications link between the students and the astronaut who will perform the experiment. It will be posted online, she said.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 19, 2012 A12

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