Two Northern Michigan Students Win NASA Student Challenge

Two Northern Michigan Students Win NASA Student Challenge

One Grand Traverse Academy student and one White Cloud Junior High were the NASA TechRise Student Challenge winners. The two students are among 60 other school groups nationwide to win the challenge.

The challenge is designed to attract future science, technology, engineering, and mathematics professionals.

Each winning team will receive $1,500 to build out their projects.

“Funding comes through within the next two weeks,” said Grand Traverse Academy teacher Annie Callahan. “They call it a box of goodies where we will get some information and materials. And then weekly we will do builds, and the launch date depends on the weather sometime in May.”

White Cloud Winning Project: Atmosphere All Stars 

A group of four 6th-grade girls, Team Atmosphere All Stars, designed a study to find a correlation between carbon dioxide and land use. They plan to monitor the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by sending a high-resolution camera up on a high-altitude balloon to look at the Earth’s surface.

The high-resolution camera will take pictures while the carbon dioxide monitor reads the level of carbon dioxide in the upper atmosphere.

The team hopes to see a connection between how the land is used and the increasing carbon dioxide levels. The team thinks the carbon dioxide levels should increase as the balloon travels above cities, towns and farms. The levels should then decrease over forests and land not used by humans.

Grand Traverse Academy Winning Project: Space Dust: Friend or Foe? 

The students will use sensors to gather evidence to measure the density and types of dust particles in the different layers of the atmosphere.

The students hypothesized that using different types of colorings of coatings on aircraft could hinder the accumulation of dust particles.

The sensors will also monitor wind patterns to help identify the movement of the particles within the atmosphere layers.

The magnetic properties of space dust will also be measured within the layers of the atmosphere if the space dust is present.

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