NASA’s Johnson Space Center has partnered with Fairport High School to inspire students through hands-on science projects.
The partnership will enable students to work on NASA projects through the High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) program.
The partnership benefits both NASA and students.
NASA receives cost effective hardware and soft goods that are fabricated by the students, while the students receive hands-on experiences and in some cases, NASA certification in the development of training hardware for the International Space Station crew members or ground support personnel.
Earlier this year, five FHS science teachers – Elizabeth Burns, Gene Gordon, Donna Himmelberg, Andrew Johnson and Chris Stahl – submitted a proposal for FHS to participate in the HUNCH program.
Although there are approximately 40-50 HUNCH schools, there are only 12 schools in the HUNCH Extreme Science Program. Currently, FHS is the only school in New York State in the HUNCH Extreme Science Program.
Students will create an experiment by fabricating real-world products for NASA as they apply their science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills as well as learning to work in teams and think creatively.
“The Extreme Science HUNCH program is a huge commitment and it really does take a community effort,” said HUNCH Extreme Science Program Manager Florence Gold, Ed.D. “I am very excited to visit Fairport High School and help them design, fabricate, and document an experiment to fly on the Zero G plane in April 2014.”
This opportunity allows students to learn about and study realistic problems related to NASA’s spaceflight and research programs and to create hardware prototypes, simulated space hardware, research results or other solutions for NASA’s review and use.
Himmelberg said some of the skills the students will learn and be able to possess after graduation include how to work in a team, conduct research, think creatively, be a leader, and meet constraints of time, money, and space.
“For our students to develop these skills in a program such as NASA’s HUNCH, is a prestigious honor that promises opportunities for students both while they are students at Fairport High School and in their futures outside of Fairport,” said Himmelberg.
The timeline involves the students researching an experiment by this fall, then building it and having it approved early next year, and in time for the zero-g plane flight in April 2014, in Houston.
The ultimate goal for schools in the program is to have the experiment selected to go to the International Space Station.
For more information on the HUNCH program, visit: www.nasahunch.com.