Northview Engineering Students Present Project at NASA

  • Posted 10/19/2023

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    After a 30-year career in engineering, Paul Platt took on a new role as a Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) teacher at Northview High School. Last year, in his seventh year teaching in the engineering pathway, Platt had a special group of students and the opportunity to really help them shine.

    In Platt’s research and design course, five seniors qualified to submit their project to the National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA), and were named in the top five nationally, which came with an invitation to present their project at the Johnson Space Center in Houston this past April.

    Platt’s five students were team leader David LeLoup, Zaid Kudchikar, Jiefu Ling, Dominic DeLuca and Ryan Noh.

    This program is called High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware or HUNCH. In the project-based learning program, students are invited to design real-world solutions for NASA.

    Platt’s students’ project was a lunar worktable, capable of supporting astronauts on missions to the moon.

    “They jumped in and did an incredible job,” Platt said.

    NASA provides project specifics, but, said Platt, “Materials are up to [the students and must] hold up to lunar conditions.”

    Their final version was a welded collapsible worktable with clamps and a pegboard to hold items in place and power outlets, among other features.

    “Feet were height-adjustable and could be a spike to stick into a [lunar] surface or a round, flat piece with a ball and socket that could be flat and leveled,” said Platt.

    “These five students are the best teamwork group I've ever had in my years of teaching,” Platt said. “To be one of the top five was really, really cool. I'm really proud of them.”

    The students worked together on this project for months, both in class and after school.

    “This was our first time participating as a school and our students crushed it,” said Northview Principal Martin Neuhaus. “They took everything they’ve learned over the past three years in our Engineering Pathway to design, create and build a prototype lunar workbench. They collaborated with our teacher, coaches and NASA scientists over the course of the project to refine and enhance their design, culminating in creating a successful prototype that earned them a trip to Rocket Park at Space Center Houston last spring.”

    Platt’s five students graduated in Northview’s Class of 2023 and all plan to pursue careers in engineering.