The launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon craft last month was significant for a number of reasons. In addition to the involvement of a commercial spacecraft carrying astronauts for the first time, the launch also carried storage compartments created by high school students from throughout the country. The four lockers making the trip were built through a program called High school students United with NASA to Create Hardware — a name that seems to suggest that it was really important to figure out a way to get the acronym HUNCH in play.
Each locker is comprised of approximately 280 components and includes 41 parts machined or designed by the students, as well as more than 200 rivets, fasteners, and bearings — all of which had to meet the same specifications of any hardware making the journey to the International Space Station. Industrial Machining Specialists, a Decatur, Alabama-based HUNCH partner, helped finish some of the parts that students couldn’t finish due to COVID-19-related school closures.
The four lockers used in the historic launch were stowed beneath the seats of the astronauts and contained: liquid cooling ventilation garments used by the astronauts to help maintain proper body temperature during spacewalks; Glenn Harnesses, which are used to ensure astronauts can properly run on the space station’s treadmill; as well as shoes and other miscellaneous items.
Each student and instructor signed the lockers they helped build and, when the units are in orbit, the astronauts take pictures with them to provide a memento of the student’s efforts.
HUNCH’s goal is to empower and inspire students through a project-based learning program by providing opportunities to play an active role in the space program.
High school students United with NASA to Create Hardware or HUNCH is an innovative school-based program that partners NASA at Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Fight Center, Langley Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, Glenn Research Center, Kennedy Space Center, and AMES Research Center with high schools in states across the nation. The partnership involves students fabricating real-world products for NASA as they apply their science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills as well as learning to work in teams and think creatively.
This NASA program is expanding and giving students opportunities to develop hardware for the International Space Station. Some hardware items are necessities that the astronaut crew has personally requested to help ease their living conditions while aboard the Space Station and other requests have come from Flight Crew Systems and Operational groups at NASA. It is really a wonderful time to be a part of such a great program!
This website should be used as a “one stop shop” that will help in your development phases of your projects. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your NASA Mentor should you have any questions.
Also, keep in mind that this website is a “living” website were new information may be posted, so check back regularly
Program Changes for this year: There will be a preliminary Design Review, Critical Design review and then a Final Design Review in Houston for the Top 3 teams per project area around the country
Preliminary Review: Held early November -early December time frame (Regional Reviews)
Critical Design Review: Held February- early March (Regional Reviews)
Final Design Review for Top Teams: TBD /near end of April (Johnson Space Center)
Contact your NASA Mentor for Timeline information if not posted on the site. See the Expectations page to understand what is expected at each of the reviews.
This year we will be trying to help each other connect through social media, so if you are working on your projects and have pictures/videos you can use the following #hunchdesign2019 to share