FLL – Squeaky Wheels

FLL 34195 Squeaky Wheels

Just wait till next year-we’ll be older and hopefully wiser!

Team motto: Pop a wheel – it lets the imagination flow!

Our team consists of four mostly homeschooled 9-13 year old members. For this year’s competition, Into Orbit, we decided to talk about the problem of depression in space during and due to long duration in space.

Our Solution:

Depression is a very complex mental illness that has many causes and here are a few of them: Genetics, drugs, psychobiotics, trauma. We are focusing on one small part of depression which is having an imbalanced gut microbiome. To solve this type of depression, we propose an FMT (Fecal Microbiota Transplant) pill, which is like a fecal transplant via colonoscopy, but this is a fecal transplant via capsule. We will store it in a multi-layer container made out of plastic, lead and water to keep most of the radiation out.



Our Documentation of our Research

Podcast – Radio Lab: https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/197112-guts

Research papers

Capsules for Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Clostridium Difficile Infection: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2664458?resultClick=24&redirect=true

Effectiveness of fecal-derived microbiota transfer using orally administered capsules for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4506624/

The Challenge of Maintaining a Healthy Microbiome during Long-Duration Space Missions: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fspas.2016.00023/full

Magazines – Nutrition Action

Government websites – NASA, USDA, ESA, CSA, NIH, 

NASA Twins Study Investigators to Release Integrated Paper in 2018:



OpenBiome: https://www.openbiome.org/

How a Year in Space Affected the Bacteria in Scott Kelly’s Gut: https://www.theverge.com/2017/2/3/14498904/nasa-scott-kelly-year-in-space-iss-gi-tract-digestion

One Small Step for the Health of Female Astronauts: https://phys.org/news/2016-04-small-health-female-astronauts.html

Gut Feeling: https://pulse.embs.org/november-2017/link-depression-gut-bacteria/

The Gut-Brain Connection: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection

Finding the Right Balance for the Microbiota: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/microbiota_research

Link Found Between Gut Bacteria And Depression: https://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/link-found-between-gut-bacteria-and-depression/

Gut Feeling: How your microbiota affects your mood, sleep and stress levels: https://theconversation.com/gut-feeling-how-your-microbiota-affects-your-mood-sleep-and-stress-levels-65107

The Challenge of Maintaining a Healthy Microbiome during Long-Duration Space Missions: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fspas.2016.00023/full

Blood, urine, saliva samples back on Earth from ISS: https://www.india.com/news/world/blood-urine-saliva-samples-back-on-earth-from-iss-1209580/

Fecal Transplants Now Come in Pill Form: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/kbzgnm/fecal-transplants-are-now-in-pill-form



Documentaries – A year in Space PBS


“Endurance: My Year In Space” by Scott Kelly

“Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect your Brain for Life” by Dr. David Perlmutter

2017-2018 FLL Season

Our team consists of four homeschooled 9-12 year old members. For the 2017-2018 season’s competition, HydroDynamics, we decided to talk about the disposal of microfibers, tiny fibers made of plastics that are polluting the environment.

Our Documentation of Our Research




download our compiled comic book here.

Our HydroDynamics Comic Book