Southampton students to take on NASA Engineering Challenge

Published 11:49 am Saturday, February 7, 2015

Students from nine middle schools across the Commonwealth will take part in an after-school engineering challenge designated by NASA. Virginia is one of 10 states chosen by NASA and the U.S. Department of Education to participate in the 2014-15 Engineering Design Challenge, an initiative to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Southampton Middle School students will attempt to solve real-world challenges facing the national space agency, including how to assist astronauts in peril; how to successfully parachute a spacecraft onto the surface of Mars; and how to pack for a visit to the Moon.

The students have eight weeks to brainstorm, design, build and create videos that document their efforts and solutions. The best entries from each school will be submitted by April 16, and the winners will be announced on May 1.

Other schools participating in the event include: Caroline Middle in Caroline County; Falling Creek Middle in Chesterfield County; Holmes Middle and Key Middle in Fairfax County; Peabody Middle in Petersburg; Thomas H. Henderson Middle and Thomas C. Boushall Middle in Richmond; and Stonewall Jackson Middle in Roanoke.

Each participant was selected by the Virginia Department of Education, and are all home to federally funded 21st-Century Community Learning Center programs. The winners will be recognized in a virtual showcase event in May.