Surfside Elementary Soars to New Heights with NASA TechRise Student Challenge Win
In an unprecedented achievement, Surfside Elementary has clinched a coveted spot in the NASA TechRise Student Challenge, making history as the first Brevard Public Schools (BPS) to achieve this prestigious recognition, as well as the only school selected from Florida in their division.
The NASA TechRise Student Challenge invites teams of talented sixth- to twelfth-grade students to explore the realms of science and technology by designing, building, and launching experiments into suborbital conditions. Test flights are held on either a high-altitude balloon flight or a rocket-powered lander.
Surfside Elementary’s Gift Students Program Teacher, Mrs. Manchur, challenged her sixth- grade gifted students to team up and submit a proposal for this year’s NASA TechRise challenge. Students, Axel Bourgoin, Jack Fisher, Ian Lacombe, and Zachary Watzek, jumped at this chance.
Through which, the students not only secured a spot on a NASA-sponsored commercial flight of a rocket-powered lander but will also receive a prize box valued at $1,500 to transform their visionary proposals into reality. Additionally, NASA Engineer advisors, from Future Engineers, will mentor the students, one hour per week, throughout the experiment build phase. This mentorship will provide the Surfside Elementary team with needed technical assistance and further ensure that the students have the necessary skills and resources to bring their experiment to fruition.
The experiment? Surfside Elementary students are set to craft an electromagnetic glove; designed to assist in an astronauts' ability to reach and hold tools in space by leveraging electromagnetic frequency coils. The glove will undergo rigorous testing aboard the rocket-powered lander; whose test flight will simulate lunar conditions, flying for about two minutes at an altitude of 80 feet over a Moon-like test field. This groundbreaking technology is a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of our young scientists.
“One of the hardest parts about the TechRise challenge for students is coming up with an idea for a real tool that NASA would want to use. Jack’s creativity set the whole team apart from groups I’ve had in the past. Jack had an idea for a gravity glove that was both unique and untried,” said Mrs. Manchur. “The idea and the initial sketch that he drew grabbed my attention immediately. I knew this was an idea that had great potential. It seemed both functional and workable. I told him and his group that this was the idea that they should work on. This idea had a real shot.
Brevard Public Schools invites the community to stay engaged and follow the captivating journey of the students as they delve into the intricacies of space exploration. Regular updates on the electromagnetic glove build and the upcoming test flight will provide a glimpse into the dedication and innovation of these young scientists.
Surfside Elementary Principal Erenstoft shared in the excitement noting, “I am thrilled to extend my heartfelt congratulations to our sixth-grade students for being selected as a national winner of the NASA TechRise Challenge. Their hard work, dedication, and passion for future engineering and space exploration set them apart. The teamwork they have shown, and this achievement inspires us all. I cannot wait to see them bring their creative design to fruition. These students have a bright future, and we are so proud of them.”
As Surfside Elementary propels itself into the cosmos with NASA, the school remains dedicated to nurturing a new generation of scientific minds. The NASA TechRise Student Challenge is not just a recognition of past achievements but a testament to the school's commitment to fostering innovation and excellence in STEM education. Here at BPS, we encourage all schools to get involved and possibly submit an experiment for next year’s challenge.
For more information on TechRise Challenge, visit: https://www.futureengineers.org/nasatechrise