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Monday, September 1, 2014

High School Student to Machine Parts for NASA

A high school student in Manchester, Md., has taken on the challenge of machining parts for NASA.

Manchester Valley High School. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Manchester Valley High School. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Brooks Daniels, who takes a course at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center, volunteered to participate in the High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) program. Students enrolled in the Manufacturing and Machine Technologies course at the center are eligible for the program and make the NASA parts on top of their normal workload.

Daniels, a senior at Manchester Valley High School, is the only student in the course to accept the challenge. “The more you push yourself, the better you get,” he told the Carroll County Times. “That opens a lot of doors.”

Daniels and other students enrolled in courses affiliated with HUNCH will build five sets of three parts before the end of the school year using raw materials provided by NASA, according to Stacy Hale, program manager for HUNCH at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

HUNCH works with different schools across the nation and recently expanded to Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire — states supported by the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Hale told the Carroll County Times that the parts will initially be used for astronaut training purposes. As students become more proficient, they will begin to create Class 1 flight hardware that could fly on NASA spacecrafts.

Though Daniels is the only student to take on the task at his high school, four other students in his class have expressed interest.

Valerie Bortz, assistant principal of the Tech Center, said HUNCH work fits well into the curriculum. “It will give the students an extra sense of purpose,” she said. “It is relevance at a whole new level.”

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