Middle school students study the cosmos over the summer, and just in time to save the earth from a giant comet threatening mankind’s existence.

To save the world, the students have to program two small satellites to deflect a simulated asteroid in 210 minutes.  One satellite collects laser packs to shoot the asteroid and the other collides with space debris to gain mass and bump the asteroid with gravitational pull.

Middle Schoolers Study the Cosmos Over Summer14 students from Lake Wales and the Berkley Accelerated Middle Schools in Auburndale have spent their summer saving the world from the dangers of the cosmos.  49 schools across the county are participating in this years program.

Cosmospheres is a game developed by NASA and MIT for their Zero Robotics middle school summer program.

“The kids are learning how to program robots and do some coding and everything else,” said Jesse Jackson, superintendent of Lake Wales Charter Schools.

Nikki Sealey, a science teacher at Bok Academy, said some students had no previous experience writing code.

But four weeks later, according to numbers released Monday by organizers at MIT, the students placed second out of the eight schools competing in Florida.Middle Schoolers Study the Cosmos Over Summer

Berkley Accelerated Middle School is currently ranked sixth.

Auburn Thompson, a science teacher at Berkley, said he is looking forward to some friendly competition with Bok Academy because the two schools are in the same county.

“There’s always friendly competition. We like to win, we like to compete,” he said. “I’m sure they’re gunning for us because we’re local, and I know we’re gunning for them because they’re local, but really, we want to beat the state of Florida and win the whole thing.”

But Thompson said introducing kids to physics concepts and teaching them new things over the summer break is one of the most important parts of the program.

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 Middle Schoolers Study the Cosmos Over Summer