Central ISD chosen by NASA to present protective helmet design at Langley Research Center

Central ISD chosen by NASA to present protective helmet design at Langley Research Center

POLLOK, Texas (KTRE) - Students with Central Independent School District have been chosen by NASA to present their design of a helmet to better protect astronauts from radiation to staff at Langley Research Center in Virginia.

While most kids have been on summer vacation, sleeping in, swimming, going to camp and on vacation, the “Central Space Station” team has been having a different kind of fun. Even after the school year ended, the team researched topics like solar flare radiation and material that would shield astronauts against radiation.

After nearly a month of waiting, the team found out they were chosen to present their model to members of NASA.

“We’re very excited to be blessed to have this opportunity for us to go very far to Virginia, to go to a great place with exciting things,” said Kyle Reid, 9th grader on the Central Space Station team.

Students designed and developed a helmet that would better protect astronauts on future space missions, like ones to the Moon or Mars. This design will be what students present to the Central ISD school board, and more importantly, to NASA. (Source: Stefante Randall/KTRE)
Students designed and developed a helmet that would better protect astronauts on future space missions, like ones to the Moon or Mars. This design will be what students present to the Central ISD school board, and more importantly, to NASA. (Source: Stefante Randall/KTRE)

Central ISD was chosen from among schools in 12 states who were participating in the competition; five junior high and five high school teams were chosen as finalists.

“We still have a little bit more to do, because we’re going to have to stand in front of a bunch of people at NASA Langley [Research Center] and talk about our helmet design,” said Lisa Reid, 5th grade science teacher. “The specific layers, and what each layer in our helmet is going to be able to do to avert radiation. We have to have specific details to share with them.”

Students started the NASA Wearable Equipment for Averting Radiation (WEAR) challenge on May 10. The project has more merit than just teaching children; the radiation that astronauts experience can cause cancer, as well as damage to reproductive and blood cells.

The Central Space Station team logo, as designed by Grace van Hoose (Source: Stefante Randall/KTRE)
The Central Space Station team logo, as designed by Grace van Hoose (Source: Stefante Randall/KTRE)

“I’m excited because I get to find out what the other teams came up with, because right now we have no idea what the other teams came up with,” Mrs. Reid said. “Maybe they’ll take a combination all of our helmets together and use layers from each of the different helmets to actually be put into the Moon to Mars mission helmet.”

“It feels really weird, because we’re like a small town, like, in the middle of nowhere, and we get to be part of this huge thing,” Callie Kelsey, 8th grader on the Central Space Station team.

The students who developed the winning design gets to go to NASA"s Langley Research Center for a week, where they will meet and work with several NASA engineers and scientists.

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