Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Warhill’s NASA HUNCH Club to Compete in Houston

The Warhill High School HUNCH Club Biomed team (Provided by WJCC Schools)

WILLIAMSBURG — Six Warhill High School students in the NASA HUNCH Club are taking their creativity and innovative solutions to Houston to compete against teams across the country in the finals competition Wednesday.

Students in HUNCH Clubs nationwide research, design and create innovative solutions to “real world” challenges posed by life on the International Space Station. The idea is for NASA scientists and engineers to harness the creativity and design power of young minds to address a variety of challenges before those ordeals are encountered in space. During the project, a NASA engineer meets with students, providing research and design guidance.

“I think that having the resources for the exploration for things that I never really consider to research on,” MaKenzie Elliott, the HUNCH Club President for Warhill High School, said when asked about her favorite part of the club. “Last year we did a lunar-based airlock design, and I would never just think to research those sorts of things, but I learned so much from it.”

Since the start of the school year, the Warhill team researched, designed, and 3D printed medical tools that could be sterilized and/or recycled into other medical instruments in space. NASA’s objective is to limit the number of medical instruments brought to space that may never be used, while still offering the ability to respond to medical needs in space.

The club has been working with an engineer from NASA Langley who attends almost all of the club’s meetings to help it prepare for the upcoming competition. They also offer support in information on how the team at NASA Langley would work on these kinds of problems, as well as answer questions the students might have.

In addition, the club has been diving into the questions it received from the Critical Review for the competition. They used the opportunity to take the project a few steps further and explore angles they hadn’t previously considered.

“We have talked about this project extending into next year as well,” Elliott explained. “The head of the biomedical prompt category talked to us in a separate call after the critical design review about the possibility of it becoming a two-year project, since we had a lot of base work for our solution but some of it needs more refining and time.”

In addition to expanding on its research and building on what the Warhill HUNCH club has completed so far, the club also hopes use the event to meet schools to collaborate with on further research.

For more information about the NASA HUNCH program, visit the official site.

Related Articles