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NASA's Extraordinary Youth Projects

April 28, 2017

The space agency's little-known educational programs are well worth exploring

America’s space agency, NASA, will of course go down in history as the organization that put the first humans on the moon, sent probes to Mars, Jupiter and beyond, and led the international coalition that built the International Space Station (ISS), among many other extraordinary achievements. But far less well known are its amazing educational programs, often involving college students, high schoolers and even kindergarten-aged kids.


In just one example, the agency has a program called High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH), in which high schoolers create machines and technology for actual use in space. For instance one team of students in New Jersey created a locker that will end up on the ISS:


The HUNCH Locker will provide containment for a CTB (Cargo Transfer Bag) packed with loose AUXIN hardware for late load stowage on SpaceX-10.

This interesting hardware consist of the following:

  • A Pea Chamber that contains pea seeds

  • An APEX Harvest Kit that has tools like forceps and cryogenic pens to preserve plant samples

  • APEX Tubes that are used for fixation of harvested Arabidopsis Thaliana plants after growth in the Veggie facility

  • A variable gain amplifier to amplify the photodiode signal in the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace


Countless other achievements have been racked up not only by the HUNCH program but by NASA-affiliated students. NASA’s education portal can be found here.

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