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Local Students Finalists in YouTube's Space Lab Competition

You can vote to help send these GSMST students' project into outer space.

Three students at the hope their project is out of this world... Literally.

Seniors Shawn Albert of Snellville and Aditya Ragunathan of Duluth, along with junior Brian Barr of Dacula entered Lenovo and YouTube's Science Lab Competition. On Wednesday, they received word that they were chosen as one of 60 finalists worldwide.

The competition is for students all across the globe. Students between the ages of 14 and 18 had to design a science project to be performed in space on the International Space Station and streamed live on YouTube.

The trio chose to focus on diabetes and insulin. “Our goal with this experiment is to see how microgravity and other factors in space affect insulin production in bacteria,” said Barr in the group’s YouTube video.

Albert, Barr and Ragunathan would send one culture of bacteria in to outer space and one kept here on earth. They would then compare the two and see which produced more insulin.

“Hopefully this will allow for more efficient insulin production in the future,” said Barr.

Now that their submission has made it to the finals, the students need your votes. Six regional winners will be announced in February. They will then go on to Washington, DC where the global winners will be announced in March.

“We’re trying to get our community behind our three students to really give them the opportunity of a lifetime, to be able to see an experiment carried out on the International Space Station,” said GSMST principal Dr. Jeff Mathews.

“I think it would not only be great for our students here at GSMST, but it would be great for Gwinnett County in general to have such great representation on a global scale,” added Mathews. 

You can vote for the GSMST students’ submission by going to YouTube’s Space Lab Channel. Voting is going on now and closes Tuesday, January 24th. You allowed to vote once a day per computer.

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