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Kauaʻi 5th graders will launch sugar cane project to International Space Station

Alaka‘i o Kaua‘i Charter School
Alaka‘i o Kaua‘i Charter School
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The students from Alaka‘i o Kaua‘i Charter School are Persais Sasil, Hudson Sherrill and Omar Maes.

A group of fifth graders from Kauaʻi will send their research project to the International Space Station.

Space Team Kō from Alakaʻi O Kauaʻi Charter School is one of five student groups from around the country sending their experiments for the DreamUp to Space program.

"It began with us participating in a school-wide project-based learning where we would have to pick something to send up to space," shared Team Kō member Persias Sasil.

The project-based learning school reviewed submissions from Kindergarten through sixth grade.

Team Kō's idea to send sugar cane seeds to space was selected. They hypothesize that the sugar cane seeds will grow slower in space than on Earth. Kō means sugar cane in Hawaiian.

"(We chose) sugar cane because it's a relative of bamboo, the fastest growing grass, and it has a bunch of health benefits," Team Kō member Hudson Sherrill explained.

The three members of Team Kō travel to Florida next week to watch their project launch into outer space. The expected launch date is Nov. 18.

Omar Maes, the final member of Space Team Kō, first heard the news from his mother.

"That was really really exciting for me when I first learned. And when I went to school the next day and we won, that felt really good too. I really thought that we weren’t gonna win because there was a lot of really good projects," Maes told HPR.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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