Student Experiment Microgravity Kit Wins NASA-MAKE Tech Contest | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 07.25.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.25.14 **
** Airborne 07.23.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.23.14 **
** Airborne 07.21.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.21.14 **

Thu, May 26, 2011

Student Experiment Microgravity Kit Wins NASA-MAKE Tech Contest

Three Experiments Employ Molten Wax To Demonstrate Science Principles

"Bring It Back," a small and inexpensive microgravity spaceflight kit, has won the do-it-yourself technology and education space competition sponsored by NASA and MAKE Magazine.

The competition challenged participants to design experiments that could be built for under $200 by high school students to eventually fly on a suborbital flight. In addition to being low cost, the winning entry also had to illustrate sound science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) principles. The competition was designed to inspire curiosity and create interest in STEM among classroom teachers and students.

The "Bring It Back" concept, created by Houston engineers Prashant Rao and Subra Sankaran, outlines three experiments using molten wax to demonstrate important principles of science and engineering. Each experiment can be performed using the same equipment, making the kit versatile. The students will use wax to understand the dominance of surface tension, wetting effects and the impact of a lack of buoyancy in the absence of gravity. Other science concepts include simulated boiling, fluid flow behavior and bubble movements induced by temperature changes, natural convection, and wake flow.

"It is a challenge to create an affordable and achievable method for microgravity experiments, but the Houston team came up with three innovative options, using materials easily found in most communities," said Bobby Braun, Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "As a result, students across the country will have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience with some of the principles required in a career in science and engineering."

Sponsored by Teachers in Space, a project of the Space Frontier Foundation in Nyack, NY, the first "Bring It Back" kits will fly aboard the Excelsior STEM mission scheduled to fly on a Masten Aerospace unmanned suborbital mission later this year. Teachers and students will assemble the experiment kits at a Suborbital Flight Experiment Workshop at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center's AERO Institute in Palmdale, CA, in early August.

"At this stage of their lives, we think it is particularly important to provide an experience that will get students excited about science and engineering in general, and space in particular, all in an artistic and imaginative way," Sankaran said. He is a senior thermal specialist at MEI Technologies and Jacobs/ESCG in Houston. Rao is a principal engineer at Barrios Technology and Jacobs/ESCG in Houston.

Their kit was selected as the winner by NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA, MAKE Magazine and Teachers in Space. Sankaran and Rao will be honored May 21 and 22 at the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA.

"I believe that makers are inspired by the emerging opportunities for 'do-it-yourself' space exploration," said Dale Dougherty, founder and publisher of MAKE Magazine, a do-it-yourself publication for technology. "We are proud to partner with Teachers in Space and NASA to encourage makers to develop space science kits that high school teachers can build and fly on suborbital flights. The project's ultimate goal is to open the door for the next generation of makers to gain real-world experience in space science."

FMI: http://makezine.com/space, www.nasa.gov

Advertisement

More News

It's Turbo Time! AeroVee Turbo Orders Now Accepted

Will Offer Significant Performance Boost For Sonex Aircraft Sonex Aircraft announced at a press and customer briefing Sunday morning that orders are now being accepted for the long>[...]

There's A New Light Sport Amphib Coming To The Block

MVP.Aero Introduces What It Calls The Worlds 'Most Versatile Plane' A new sport plane that is designed to operate from runways, water, and snow and ice was introduced Sunday aftern>[...]

Historic OSH2014 Sponsor: Bendix-King by Honeywell

OSH2014 Sponsor: Bendix-King by Honeywell The history of the Bendix name runs parallel to the development of King Radio until the mid-1980s, when the Allied Corporation purchased B>[...]

Revolutionary OSH2014 Sponsor -- Aviation Modifications Leaders

Aviation Modifications Leaders -- Unique Solutions For Critical Applications During two decades of designing, engineering and installation of Satcom systems with Honeywell (Allied >[...]

OSH2014 Sponsor: 'Super-App' ForeFlight

LONG-TIME ANN Sponsor, ForeFlight, Provides GREAT Guidance For Oshkosh 2014! ForeFlight was founded in 2007 by aviation entrepreneurs who set out to build elegant, high-performing >[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC