Tri-County NASA-HUNCH Team Designs Device to Travel Into Space

Three students in the Engineering Technology Program and their instructor at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School traveled to Houston, TX last week from April 15 through April 17, 2019 to present a device they designed to NASA engineers and astronauts as part of the HUNCH program.  

High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware or HUNCH is an innovative school-based program that partners NASA at Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, Langley Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, Glenn Research Center, Kennedy Space Center, and AMES Research Center with high schools in states across the nation. The partnership involves students fabricating real-world products for NASA as they apply their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills as well as learning to collaborate and administer a project in teams and think creatively.

Five juniors Averi Ayre of North Attleboro; Katie Dion of North Attleboro; Colin Donoghue of Walpole; Eric Kugler of North Attleboro; and Jacob Lipson of Franklin designed, The Tool Pouch, an organized tool storage box that they hope will be used to solve a tool storage problem on the International Space Station. The project has made it to the Final Design and Prototyping Review scheduled at NASA’s Johnson Space Center at Rocket Park in Houston.  If selected, their designs will likely be used by NASA astronauts in Space. This is the fourth year Tri-County’s team attended the event.

NASA began HUNCH 13 years ago with schools in Texas, and later expanded to some schools in the Midwest. In 2011, they added a school from the Northeast. NASA enlisted the help of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to identify the school, and they recommended Tri-County.

The Design and Prototyping HUNCH Program is a way for students of all skill levels to develop innovative solutions to problems posed by life on the International Space Station. Many of the projects are items personally requested by the International Space Station crew to help ease living conditions aboard the station, giving students the opportunity to really make an impact on the lives of astronauts. Other projects come from Flight Crew Systems and Operational groups at NASA that need more idea development.