CCISD Students Send Items to Space

NASA Partnership Allows CCISD Students to Send Items to Space
Posted on 02/09/2021
HUNCH StudentsNot many can say their creation is in outer space. For CCISD students in the HUNCH program, this is their norm.

HUNCH is a project-based learning program in collaboration with NASA and more than 275 schools across the country.

Clear Creek High School’s Metal Manufacturing Program was fortunate enough to be one of the first to partner with NASA more than 15 years ago to create crew training hardware and products that are now onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

CCHS students start with a design and oversee the whole process from manufacturing of each component to assembly and quality assurance.

“They have to meet all the same requirements. They don’t cut us any slack on the end result being subpar because students did the work,” said Tommy Gillis, Metal Manufacturing Teacher. “We meet all the same safety checks.”

The program allows NASA to cut back on costs for personal items and tools, while giving students real-world experience with industry-standard machines.

“The HUNCH Program provides some of the machines that the school would never really be able to afford,” added Gillis.

Several CCISD schools also have a hand in the HUNCH program, creating items like tape dispensers, hand railing, and stowage lockers that are used on the ISS.

“Students often are wondering why they are learning this math and why they are learning this science,” said Program Manager George Kessler. “These real-world projects give them examples of where they are going to use the things that they are learning in high school.”

Not only are the students supervised by NASA engineers, but some also work alongside them as interns.

“Being able to work and have these parts go up to the ISS and know that you worked on something like that, is really challenging and fun,” said Ethan Glass, a CCHS student and intern.

CCHS serves as the hub for the HUNCH program, acting as the last stop for final processing of the products made at various schools across the country.

This story is part of Clear Creek ISD’s MaSTARminds segment. Watch here.
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