Crammed in the Central ISD school board room is a handful of junior high students all presenting their research as part of the NASA “wear” project.
A project for students to create radiation resistant suits for astronauts.
Students and teachers worked for two months studying radiation prior to their presentation
“We utilized that and designed our own helmet and garment to protect from the radiation,” said Shonda Kelsey, Central Elementary S.T.E.A.M teacher.
Students started the project with a simple Google search.
“How do you block radiation, what materials can block radiation, what types of radiations are there,” said Grace Van Hoose, a student working on the project.
In their research they found one common material, was just what they were looking for.
“Polyethylene came up and so we looked up ‘what is polyethylene’ and it is basically plastic, it is in every plastic you would find,” said Van Hoose. “We didn’t know that something that simple would be as useful as it is.”
Once they had the right material, they went to the drawing board, logging several hours to make everything just right.
This impressed not only themselves, but their instructor as well.
“How much they went into this and how much they researched, they even researched at home, so they were very gung-ho with it,” said Kelsey.
A truly once in a lifetime opportunity for a school of it’s size.
“Pretty awesome that they were able to include students into this, not just engineers and astronauts at NASA,” said Van Hoose.
If their project wins, it will be brought to NASA’s Langley Research Center for further testing.
They will be sending their presentation to NASA later this month, and will know if their project was selected some time in early July.