The HUNCH – High school students United with NASA to Create Hardware – Program has expanded its partnership opportunities to the Dade County, Georgia, school system in Trenton. Students will increase their advanced manufacturing capabilities by producing super-strength carbon fiber elements for NASA, the International Space Station, and future deep space products.
HUNCH was designed to inspire students through project-based learning. Students have opportunities to participate in six HUNCH focus areas — design and prototyping, software, hardware, sewn flight articles, video and media, and culinary arts.
Schools can participate in HUNCH by meeting a set of minimal qualifications and having the capability to complete program requirements. To be a successful program, HUNCH organizers recommend that school faculties include teachers with prior experience in the focus area.
Dade County, Georgia, Middle School HUNCH students KK Castleberry, left, and Meleah Smith show 3D-printed items manufactured using the school’s printer. HUNCH’s goal is to empower and inspire students through a project-based learning program and by providing opportunities to students to play an active role in the space program.
Dade County High School will use a newly acquired, high-end 3D carbon fiber-infused printer to carry out assignments. Dade County Middle School will continue to use its premium 3D printer to produce flight-ready high-temperature ULTEM plastic parts for the space station. ULTEM is semitransparent high-strength plastic material often used in electronic components. Dade County is the only school system in the NASA HUNCH Program to have these two valuable printing capabilities.
“With new partnership horizons and advanced manufacturing technologies, Dade County High School students will have opportunities that exceed many high school-level curriculums and capabilities that are in our program,” said Bob Zeek, HUNCH co-founder and project resource manager at Marshall.
HUNCH started in 2003 with two schools in Alabama and one in Houston. The program has produced more than 1,500 training and flight items for the space station program – representing approximately 30,000 individual parts with 824 assembled components flown to the station.
Image credit: NASA