Posted On: 3/24/2023

students holding prototype designLast month, students in Engineering and Advanced Drawing & Design classes from Grafton High School went to NASA Langley Research Center to showcase their HUNCH Design & Prototype projects. HUNCH stands for High school students United with NASA to Create Hardware.

Student teams have been working on designing and creating prototypes for HUNCH projects since the beginning of the school year. From rethinking tables for a lunar habitat, growing and observing insects in microgravity to designing a device to allow astronauts to roll dice in space, the projects displayed creative solutions, dynamic thinking, and great problem-solving skills.

At the critical design review, students were interviewed and evaluated by judges who weighed the students’ research, their problem solving, and their presentation of the solutions.

One of the teams designing a rolling dice device has been selected as a finalist and was invited to attend the Final Design Review at Rocket Park at Space Center Houston, Texas on April 19. Three other teams made the semi-finalist list. The selection has been made out of high schools across the country participating in the HUNCH program.

The students on the finalist team, Tanner Lindsay, Jack Burcher and Mathias Hoeher, were tasked with developing a device to allow astronauts to roll multiple dice in space that would consistently give randomized numbers and allow as much personal contact with the dice as possible.

After months of designing, prototyping and testing Tanner, Jack and Mathias came up with a tube-shaped device that uses an electromagnet on a timer to roll dice. When activated, the device turns off the magnet, allowing the dice to float in a compartment. The astronaut can shake the device allowing the dice to roll and tumble around. After a random amount of seconds, the electromagnet will trigger.