National Geographic : 1994 Aug
student experiments. Other sam ples were brine shrimp, loblolly pine seeds, bread mold, Spanish moss, popcorn, and magnets. "It wasn't just a stunt. The samples were part of real experi ments," says author Nicholson. "Each sample was duplicated in five test tubes. One went into orbit, one was exposed to intense radiation, one was fro zen, one was spun in a centri fuge to a G-force simulating gravity on Jupiter, and one was kept as a control." Students With a Mission After Endeavour's return the students evaluated the contents of each vial in a blind study, not knowing which tube had gone into space. So far, the most noticeable mutations have been in the irradiated samples. With the CAN DO data in hand, the Charleston schools are work ing on ways to keep the spirit of the project alive. Students shared their research results at a spring symposium; teachers are building geography lessons around the GEOCAM images. At Mary Ford Elementary School (above), teacher Beth Anthony helps second graders take turns piecing together the GEOCAM Zaire River mosaic. "The important thing is that the benefits of CAN DO are not limited to any one type of stu dent," says Carol Tempel, who coordinated CAN DO for the district. "Gifted students, average students, special-ed students, students of all back grounds sent little pieces of their imagination into space."