WINSTON-SALEM, NC (WGHP) — From the moment you walk into Betty Jo Moore’s classroom at Wiley Middle School, there is no doubt that science is the focus.
“I want kids to see beyond the classroom. I want them to see beyond their neighborhood. I would love kids to always leave my classroom more curious than when they arrived. And if I feel like I can do that, then I’ve done. I’ve maybe touched a life somewhere along the line, gotten some kid interested in science. In space or somehow to be amazing in what they’re going to be as their future self. “
In her classroom, you can see project after project where she is helping to answer her students’ questions. But there have always been some that she couldn’t answer, such as ones dealing with microgravity.
“For years now, kids have been asking well ‘What would happen with this in space’ and I’m like, I don’t know because I don’t have a way to test it,” she says.
But now, she does! Moore is one of ten teachers nationwide selected to take her students’ projects aboard a ZERO-G flight that will put them to the test in microgravity.
It’s a trip that’s been more than a year in the making because of what’s involved. Through Carthage College and the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium, she presented six different projects that will be tested. All of them came from her students, both past and present.
“When I wrote up my proposal, I actually mentioned some of their names in that because I could see their faces in my head,” says Moore. “And I remember the day I said, I don’t know how that would react in microgravity, so I actually paid tribute to them in the proposal.”
One of those students is Daniel Zeoaya. His project dealt with Ferrofluid; a magnetic liquid often found in jet fuel. He knows how it acts on Earth.
“There’s different effects with different types of magnets, but if we do multiple oh wow, it separates. And depending on the amount of ferrofluid you have, it’s the amount that the spikes and how big the spikes get or how many spikes there are.”
But what he wants to know is will it do the same thing in microgravity? To get his question answered, he had to get NASA clearance just like his teacher.
The other five projects deal with a variety of issues from “will certain substances mix together,” to “will an object leave a dent in sand if dropped in microgravity?”
Moore says she is very excited to make the trip and finally have the answers she’s wanted for years.