St. Luke Catholic School Students (Palm Springs, Fl. ) to Participate in Science Experiments Conducted on the International Space Station

PLYMOUTH, Michigan- April 12, 2017-Orion’s Quest announced today that  students at St. Luke Catholic School in Palm Springs will be participating in experiments conducted on the International Space Station (ISS). Diann Bacchus’ 6th through 8th graders will be working on the experiment during the third week in April.

Orion’s Quest is a national nonprofit engaging, primarily, middle and high school students (some elementary) in world-class research currently being conducted on the ISS. Through observation and analysis of research videos downlinked from orbit and into the classroom, students provide real data that is passed on to the scientist in support of research databanks.  Orion’s Quest is the only organization in the U.S. that offers a program of this kind. They provide all materials and support needed for the experience and the program is provided free of charge. Teachers can choose to engage their students in “live missions” currently being conducted on the ISS, or “virtual missions” that support past ISS experiments for which scientists continue to collect data.

Ms. Bacchus’ classes will engage in the virtual mission Silicate Gardens in Space. This investigation combines two experiments that were part of the payloads of NASA’s space shuttle Endeavour missions launched in 2007 and 2009. Using sodium silicate solution and various metal salts, this research is designed to provide new information on the formation and growth of hollow tubes, the basic structures of silicate gardens, while in a microgravity environment. Other virtual missions include studies of the effects of space on microbes, plant growth, spiders, fruit flies, butterflies, and worms.

“This will be the first year that our program is at this school and it is encouraging that they have chosen such an interesting experiment for their students,” said Peter Lawrie, OQ’s Executive Director. “Their participation supports world class scientists and we are thrilled that Ms. Bacchus has seized on this opportunity to expose her students to the wonders of STEM education at this level at a young age.”

About Orion’s Quest

Orion’s Quest is a tax exempt nonprofit founded in 2003 that is supported by individual donations and foundation grants. To learn more about Orion’s Quest visit their website at OQ also has a Facebook page where fascinating articles and videos are posted daily featuring every aspect of space science and STEM education. Donations to support their work are tax deductable.

OQ recruits teachers year-round and opportunities are still available for participation in this year’s missions. Interested educators can contact Program Director Tom Drummond by email at or by phone at (734) 546-0556.


Scott Rosencrans, Development Director (734) 879-2728