News

NASA 3D printing challenge tests creativity and design skills

By Stephen Noonoo
May 18th, 2015

Challenge focuses on creating containers for research in space

3d-nasaA new 3D printing design contest from NASA is giving K-12 students the chance to design items that could ultimately be manufactured on the International Space Station.

The program, called “Future Engineers,” challenges students to create a digital 3D model of a container for space. “Astronauts need containers of all kinds,” according to the challenge’s website, “from advanced containers that can study fruit flies to simple containers that collect Mars rocks or store an astronaut’s food.” 3D printing gives astronauts the ability to fabricate necessities on the fly, even in space, opening up new opportunities for research and learning. The container could be intended for use on the International Space Station or for a different, even hypothetical, space mission.

Prizes will be awarded to students based on grade level and include a 3D printer, tour of the space shuttle Endeavor, and scholarships to space camp.

The challenge is part of a series of 3D space challenges focused on solving real world space exploration problems, developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Foundation and NASA. It is open for entries until August 2.

About the Author:

Stephen Noonoo

Stephen Noonoo is a former editor of eSchool News. He has served as a consultant for CUE, California’s ISTE affiliate, and as managing editor of its quarterly publication, OnCUE. He has worked as a freelance writer, an education editor for SmartBrief newsletters, and as a staff editor for a well-known publication focusing on education technology.