Students submit payload for high-altitude ballon ride

Student-scientists Annabella Miki ’25, Chloe Alfonso ’24, Connor Alfonso ’26, Derrick Ma ’24, Dieter Manstein ’25 and Nelson Manstein ’26 finalized and submitted a science project that will be tested this summer aboard a high-altitude commercial balloon sponsored by NASA and Future Engineers. The project, one of 60 from around the nation selected for the balloon ride, will measure the impact of ultraviolet light on DNA as it flies to an altitude of 70,000 feet.
The students worked on their payload under the direction of Science Department Coordinator Jay Salon and STEM faculty member Miranda Klees. The planned project had to fit into a 4x4x8 inch box.

"We are all extremely proud of our students' accomplishments," Klees said. "They had their last meeting in May to confirm their flight box arrived with Future Engineers safely and intact. The engineers were impressed and complimented our students in that they designed and engineered a 'university-level' flight box."

During the ascent of the balloon launch – whose date has not yet been set – the students' proposed experiment will record incremental increases in ultraviolet rays and their impact on biosensor markers; the team’s goal is to determine how the duration and intensity of ultraviolet light affects the DNA mutation rate that is often experienced during space travel.
NASA TechRise will be accepting applications for the 2023-24 TechRise Student Challenge in August. More about the challenge here.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.