Learn about the Coffee 2.0 Space Experiment we're a part of

Death Wish Coffee part of science experiment on the International Space Station

By Angela Garrity, Guest blogger

Death Wish Coffee has officially returned to space, and this time, it's in the name of Science. Thanks to an experiment from iLead Schools, Death Wish Coffee is back on the International Space Station.

A group of both male and female students working on a science experiment in white lab coats

In this episode of Fueled by Death Cast, Jeff interviews students who were part of the experiment sent to the International Space Station. iLead is looking to answer if black coffee kills streptococcus mutans, a round bacterium that is typically found in the human mouth, in space. The experiment is on the International Space Station for the next four weeks.

These microbes are a big sponsor of promoting tooth decay and are known best by their common name – plaque. The students want to determine if drinking black coffee in space has different results than it does on earth, seventh grader Fintan Harwood explains.

Freshman Isobel Salters takes us through the original coffee experiment, which she admits as having “a few bumps in the road.”

Director of STEAM Initiatives Kathleen Fredette and Former CEO DreamUp Carie Lemack reflect on the initial experiment in December, where Death Wish Coffee was not the chosen brand for research.

iLead initial experiment tested how coffee kills the bacteria here on earth. And while other coffees did kill the bacteria, they found in the second experiment that Death Wish did not. This opens up one question: What is unique about Death Wish that could result in other health benefits

"The experiment didn’t go exactly as planned and that’s part of science," Fredette said. "And so we realized we needed to do it again and that is when we reached out to you guys.”

Salters recalls the excitement of watching and knowing the experiment that she was part of physically lift off on its chartered course into space. Also, interacting with other students presenting at NASA and learning about their school projects is something she said she will never forget.

iLead opportunities show how far young scientific minds can grow and just proves these kids are way smarter than us. 

Learn more about the experiment in the clip from the episode below, and listen to the full episode here.

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