KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Knox County students returned home on Sunday after a trip to NASA. Over the weekend, students from Bearden Middle School got to watch their science experiment blast off into space.

“All of a sudden we just hear ‘its going!’ We feel all of this wind and then like there’s our experiment up in the air,” said Riley Speas, one of the students participating in the project.

Speas and her classmates said it was amazing to see something they worked on at school and touched sent off into space. It’s an exciting experience for anyone, let alone eighth graders. This group of students is testing how microgravity affects treatments for pink eye. Speas came up with the idea.

“Since living on the International Space Station is such close quarters, diseases like pink eye can spread very easily,” said Speas.

On Wednesday, that experiment will arrive at the Space Station. Kayla Canario, the group’s instructional coach, said they still have a lot of work ahead of them. She said the astronauts will be contacting them during the next few weeks to update them on the experiment.

“Part of it is living vicariously through them cause I would have given my right arm for an opportunity like this,” said Canario.

It’s an out of this world opportunity Speas said she will always remember. During the weeks the students hear back from the astronauts, they will be testing out the same experiment here on earth. The plan is to see how those results compare to the ones the astronauts will find in space.

These kids were selected for the Student Space Flight Experiments Program Competition. Vine Middle School was also selected. Later this year, their team will watch their experiment launch on a SpaceX flight.