March 19th, 2021

Inside the making of a winning proposal

Kristoff Misquitta won Genes in Space 2020 as a student at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. Though he's hard at work finishing his senior year and preparing his experiment for launch, he took time out to reflect on the making of his winning proposal. Kristoff writes:

Gazing into the night sky at the peak of March quarantine, I remember thinking there was no place I’d rather be than space. The stars mingled just a finger’s width apart, the Moon shone a bright, healthy white, and all remained oblivious to the lockdowns just being imposed.

Beyond being refreshingly pandemic-free, space had also been the subject of so many of my childhood fascinations, from breathtaking supernovae to Earth-like exoplanets. I had always yearned for the chance to visit, and living so long between my desk and the dining table only intensified my desire.

But before I could start saving for the long trip skyward, my biology teacher, Ms. Jessica Quenzer, introduced me to Genes in Space. Each year, the contest fulfills the ultimate dream of any star-inspired scientist: launching an experiment to the International Space Station (ISS). Better yet, there’s no $250,000 price tag or arduous training process; it’s free, and all it takes to win is the submission of a compelling proposal. It was everything I had hoped for — a ticket to the stars, so close within reach...[Read more on Medium.]