NASA shutters online contest as trolls disparage black contestants, apparently hack voting


NASA has ended online voting for a high school science challenge after trolls apparently attempted to manipulate voting and disparaged a trio of African American female students who had pulled into the lead.

Banneker High School 11th-graders India Skinner, Mikayla Sharrieff and Bria Snell entered NASA’s Optimus Prime Spinoff Promotion & Research Challenge, which encourages students to adapt technology developed by the space agency for use in everyday life. The team, which goes by the nickname S3, used water purification technology from 1994 to create a device that could be installed in school water fountains and be used to detect chlorine, copper, bromine and other impurities.

The team noted the impact that lead pipes can have on water quality, adding that public schools in their…

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