Area student scientists working with NASA scientists

APPLETON (WLUK) -- A group of area 5th and 6th graders are proving their science skills are out of this world.

The Horizons Elementary School students are learning a hands on lesson in the scientific method.

"We've been trying to research data that will help us show that our answer is true," 5th grader Annika McDonald told FOX 11 News.

The students are helping NASA scientists research through the GLOBE Program. The program aims to help people understand Earth Systems and Global Environment.

NASA has data for temperatures above the clouds, but that's only part of the puzzle.

"What they want to know is all the data from surface temperature below the clouds," explained program tutor Zachary Starkey.

The student scientists have gathered that data locally.

"Slowly map it and graph out to show what types of clouds create higher surface temperatures. What kinds of clouds create lower surface temperatures," Starkey told us.

This is part of the YMCA and Horizons' 21st Century After School Program.

McDonald told FOX 11 she's excited to be a part of it.

"I like that I got chosen for it, because it's a big opportunity and not that many people have a chance to do it," she said.

Horizons was one of 13 schools in the country, out of eight states to be chosen to participate in this program with NASA.

"This is very exciting for the kids to be able to have this opportunity to talk with NASA scientists, to work directly with NASA," said Stephanie Johnson the YMCA 21st Century After School Program Coordinator.

The program coordinator told us it's also a great opportunity for students to get a leg up in the sciences and other STEM fields.

"STEM is huge. It's everywhere out in the world. It gets the kids to think outside the box," she said.

Jocelyn Chapmans told us she was never particularly interested in science before, this program changed her mind.

"It's like crazy all the stuff we didn't know before and there's so many things when you learn it it's like, 'that's true?!'" she exclaimed.

The GLOBE Program is scheduled to wrap-up in a little more than a week.

The students will also put together a video of their work from the last several months.

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