TEEN
12/07/2012 12:17 pm ET

Madisonville High School Students Gets Asteroid Named After Their School (VIDEO)

Madisonville High School in Texas may seem like your typical high school, but this week, the small-town students and staff received a big honor: ABC News reports that an asteriod, 269323 Madisonvillehigh, was named after the school.

In 2008, the school took part in an astronomy program run by the Astronomical Research Observatory, in which the school was sent telescope images to analyze. Led by astronomy and general sciences teacher Denise Rothrock, junior high school students -- mostly eighth-graders -- noticed a dot moving across the sky in the images, which are taken 15 seconds apart.

The students sent their results to the Observatory, and four years, later the dot was confirmed to be an asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. Because they had discovered it, the students were allowed to name the asteroid.

Watch the video above and head over to ABC News for the full story.

"We had middle school kids getting to school before school started, and that's a feat in and of itself, especially to do science," Rothrock told the Bryan-College Station Eagle. "It's real science. It really goes to Harvard University and gets cataloged."

The project has inspired some students to pursue careers in astronomy. One young astronomer told ABC News, "I want, in the end, to be the head engineer of a satellite that goes into space."

Another amazing high school science class, this one in New Hampshire, is taking on an impressive experiment. The students are creating a bacteria-operated battery that could potentially benefit thousands of people in developing countries.

Are you impressed by the students' discovery? What would you want to name the asteroid? Tell us in the comments below or tweet @HuffPostTeen!

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