BELEN, N .M. (KRQE) – A group of Belen High School students will represent New Mexico in Washington, D.C. as they present their research at the renowned Smithsonian Museum before it is launched up to the International Space Station.

“We’ve never really had any opportunities like this and the fact that the science team managed to put this all together was just awesome,” said Julia Castillo, a senior and member of the first place team at Belen High School.

Castillo and the other five members of the group submitted a project called “The Death and Decomposition of Organic Matter” to NASA’s Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.

“It will be more relevant in the far future when we start doing space travel. Maybe colonizing Mars or something like that because where there’s life there’s death. It would be helpful to realize what happens when you die or when an organism dies how decomposition works over there,” said Castillo.

For most of the students, this will be their first-ever trip to Washington, D.C.

“It’s not just like we’re going there to see the monuments or anything we’re going there to conduct real research which makes it even better to be there,” said Savannah Lajeunesse, a junior and member of the first place team.

The trip is planned for summer 2018.

If you would like to help the students fundraise for the trip, click here.

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