“This is a great opportunity to think about things outside of school and school subjects and think about the possibilities of helping the greater good,” Adiletta, a junior on the team, said.
The four young scientists are currently in the planning stages, troubleshooting issues alongside teachers like Russell Ruthen such as how to deal with such a high force of gravity.
“Fighter pilots can withstand about 10g (force),” Ruthen said. “This will be about 18 times that force.”
Students will also have to accommodate for the temperature, as their project will not be held in a controlled environment and it could get as warm as 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, the students were unfazed by such issues.
“It’s really exciting that we’re able to take our initial concept and work through all the challenges and issues to make an end product that will eventually be launched into space,” Sappet said.
Added Adiletta: “It's such an exciting experience. It's fun. It's not like a homework assignment.”
The team members are hopeful to have ordered the necessary materials with the $1,500 given to them as winners of the NASA TechRise Challenge before they leave for March break so they can begin building as soon as possible.
They are also eager to begin working under the tutelage of NASA scientists and engineers, an added perk of winning the competition.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the team is made up of students passionate about the project in which they are partaking.
However, Aguiar shared it is the limitless potential these students exhibit while exploring different sciences.
“They’re all very dedicated and diligent science students. What I love about them is that their love of science transcends the discipline,” he said.
The students, though, are grateful for an opportunity to apply their knowledge in a more useful way.
“Through this project, we are able to take our classroom and our personal learnings and apply them to solve a real-world issue,” Sappet said. “It’s a good opportunity to flex our academic muscle.”