Flushing students' project destroyed in rocket explosion

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Renee Stoll reports their experiment was destroyed in this week's rocket explosion in Virginia. (WABC)

A curious group of middle school students in Queens saw their class experiment go up in flames when a rocket headed to the International Space Station blew up Tuesday.

It isn't your average science class at World Journalism Preparatory School in Flushing, Queens.

Out of 95,000 entrees, this group of students had their science experiment chosen to go into space on the Antares rocket launch.

The experiment was to see how well chia seeds would grow in space compared to here on earth.

The students worked hours on end for months to perfect the project.

"We went from working on it all through 7th grade, we did a lot of research," said Michael Fourniotis, a student.

When launch day came, the class could barely wait.

"Something I touched was going into space!" said Jamila Tejada, a student.

But the Antares rocket exploded on takeoff Tuesday night.

Luckily, no one was injured, but these students and their teacher were crushed.

"The first few seconds I'm celebrating because it looks like it's taking off, and then jaw drop," said Christian VanDeurs, the science teacher.

"I was heartbroken, I was like all the hard work we spent on this just blew to smithereens," Fourniotis said.

The project may be scrapped, but the students aren't giving up.

They will get another chance to see their seeds go into space next year.

As for the class, the students may have a better excuse than the dog ate their homework.

"'Do we get an A?' No, that's now how it works," VanDeurs said.

Related Topics:
educationrocket explosionexplosionscienceinternational space stationspacestudentsFlushing
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