Local students create prototype for NASA competition

Out of 66 teams in the country these students made the top 10.
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 5:41 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -A group of students at Allen Academy has the chance to make a trip to NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia.

At the end of last school year, Stephanie Hanover’s 8th-grade science classes entered the NASA WEAR contest.

“We were tasked with making a vest for astronauts on the ISS International Space Station to wear in the event of a solar particle event which basically is a big wave of radiation from the sun,” said Eli Dawson a student in Hanover’s class.

Out of 66 teams in the country, this class made the top ten.

“We submitted our video right before spring break and then we didn’t come back. So we were in our distance learning and it was really great to be able to announce to one of the groups to be like ‘Hey you made the top ten’,” said Hanover.

In addition to the vest protecting astronauts from radiation, the team created a second feature.

“We followed guidelines that NASA gave us which were, the materials we had to be used were hydrogen-based and our vests had to fulfill some secondary purpose so the secondary purpose we chose was a fire blanket,” said Dawson.

Hanover says because of COVID-19 there were some delays with the contest but they're looking forward to making it to the next round.

"It's really fun to start the school year kind of where we left off when we all went away from spring break and it's a fun way to start up again and keep that momentum going," said Hanover.

The team will find out next week whether or not they’ve made it to the top five which results in a trip to Virginia sometime in October.

“The end goal is for NASA to actually use our design as inspiration or as a blueprint for maybe an upcoming radiation vest which is what we’ve been trying to create all along,” said Katherine Ortgies, a student in Hanover’s class.

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