On Friday, November 4th, members of the Palacios Junior High WIT Jr. program attended the Stars and STEM program at NASA Space Center Houston. This program immerses students in real scenarios that NASA astronauts and engineers participate in before, during, and after space flights.
For this event, students designed “rovers” using Spero bots and programmed them to go through an obstacle course mimicking the collection of samples and learning about NASA’s new rover, VIPER, which is heading to the moon in 2023.
Then, students solved a Lunar Mystery, which involved lock boxes and clues to determine why contact was lost with Artemis VIII astronauts on the surface of the moon. During this activity, they also learned about NASA’s plans for Lunar Habitation in 2030 and beyond.
Finally, students participated in a Cryogenic Engineering Challenge, where they designed a spacesuit for their “Marshmonaut” using only a select number of insulator materials. Their Marshmonaut was then plunged into liquid nitrogen for 2 minutes to test the suit’s integrity. This mimics the design process for the many spacesuits NASA has utilized over the years.