High School Students from Medford, Oregon, Win Top Honors in Solar System Research Competition

May 10, 2023

high schol students working on the project

High school students from Medford, Oregon, earned top honors in the Exploration of the Moon and Asteroids by Secondary Students (ExMASS) research program competition judged by a panel of planetary scientists.

The winning team from Logos Public Charter School was one of four national student teams vying for the top prize. Their research project, “Twelve New Candidate Sinuous Rilles on the Moon,” identified 12 candidate rilles on the lunar far side, which is an exciting result because most rilles are located on the near side of the Moon.

“I am rille-y proud of the Logos team,” says Andy Shaner, Senior Education Specialist and ExMASS program manager. “This is an exciting result that further adds to the lunar science community’s knowledge of the Moon.”

The Logos Public Charter School team is comprised of students Kyle Clarstrom, Summer Johnson, and Asa Nelson, teacher Holly Bensel, student mentor Asher Molzer, and advisor Dr. Alex Sehlke at NASA Ames in Mountain View, California.

The winning team will present their research at the NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute’s (SSERVI) annual Exploration Science Forum (ESF) held at The Hotel at the University of Maryland, July 18–21, 2023, in College Park, Maryland.

ExMASS is organized by the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration, a joint effort between the Lunar and Planetary Institute and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The ExMASS program provides students an opportunity to conduct authentic, data-rich, scientific research of the Moon and asteroids, which covers the breadth of NASA SSERVI science and exploration goals.

Over 500 students from 30 states have participated in the ExMASS program since 2010, producing over 40 student poster presentations that have been displayed at the NASA Lunar Science Forum (2010–2013) and SSERVI ESF (2014–present). Of these poster presentations, eight have received awards or honorable mentions in the Student Poster Competition held each year.

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