PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Do you think you are smarter than a Cougar? Well, try testing your skills on Pulaski County Middle School (PCMS) students.

Last week, two PCMS teams competed in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Plant the Moon Challenge for the first time and left their Cougar print. Their goal was to help NASA find new and innovative ideas for planting and growing crops on the Moon and Mars in future missions.

Students took on the challenge and earned two State Awards and were the only school in Region 7 to place at the State level in the competition.

PCMS Science teacher Mrs. Tina Winesett led the teams during the competition and says when she started teaching two years ago, her main goal was to find ways for students to make connections in the classroom and the world. Winesett says participating in the challenge has created that opportunity for students.

“Students did not simply read about growing plants, completing experiments, and NASA’s upcoming missions. Instead, they experienced learning by conducting their own experiment based on research,” said Winesett.

At the conclusion of their experiments, nine students traveled to the Richmond Virginia Museum of Science to show their findings. Throughout the competition, students from across the world showed their experiments, but this didn’t stop Pulaski County from showing their cougar pride.

PCMS presented their experiment where they attempted to grow spinach, radishes, and green beans in simulated lunar soil.

The team earned the Best in Show for their green bean experiment which matured in 55 days. They also won the NASA Space Grant Regional Expansion Project Award at the middle school level.

“They proved this weekend they ‘can do hard things’ and I look forward to watching these students as well as the entire class of 2027 as they head to PCHS this fall and show their Cougar Pride!,” said Winesett.

Do you think you are smarter than a cougar? Well, try testing your skills on Pulaski County Middle School (PCMS) students.
(Photo Courtesy: Pulaski County Public Schools)