From left: Jael “Eduardo” Ornelas Cabello, A. J. “Arnoldo” Montanez and Parker Tew. (Courtesy Photo)

Midland College received word that the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) selected the MC student research team’s challenge submission as one of the top three submissions from the Southwest Region.

This year’s AMATYC’s Student Research League Challenge required students to develop a flight plan to Mars that focused on providing food to sustain a flight crew for an extended period of time and to develop a plan to maintain a future colony.

The MC team composed of Jael “Eduardo” Ornelas Cabello, A. J. “Arnoldo” Montanez and Parker Tew developed a plan for establishing agriculture, communication with Earth and maintenance.

Their research contained a shipment plan for the amount of food needed for survival to sustain life for long periods, meals needed to last crewmembers for six months for the initial trip and included new shipments accompanied by two astronauts to last the crew a year.

The team’s plan consisted of variety, nutritional value and cost of meals that ranked the meals on a variety-nutrient-cost scale, which considered the calorie intake of the astronauts. It also established hydroponics of kale, beets, potatoes and rainbow trout on Mars to create an intertwined ecosystem providing all the necessary nutrients required for survival while being self-sustaining and relying on minimal support from Earth.

All three students are enrolled in Early College High School at Midland College (ECHS@MC) and take MC dual credit courses on the MC campus. Their advisor is MC Math Instructor Jaime Kneisley. The MC team’s submission will now advance to the second round of competition and will be judged against other regional winners.