Space Technology Drives Exploration and Student Invention

Let’s take a look at how NASA technology drives our society into undiscovered places through technology. Take 3-D printing, for example.

Image from Technology Drives Exploration

The first 3-D printed material is the faceplate seen in the image below. The material was built layer by layer, and was created to inspire the use of printed tools on long duration space flights. Here you will begin to see one aspect of how technology drives exploration to make longer duration flights a future possibility. Would the capability and development of innovative thinking inspire us to explore further into the unknown?

What do you think?

Technology Drives Exploration

Technology Drives Exploration NASA Official: Brian Dunbar

Technology Inspires Student Inventors

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Foundation, SpaceX, Digital Domain and NASA invited students to take part in the “Space Tools 3-D Design Challenge.” Each student created a digital 3-D model of a space tool that could be manufactured by the Zero-G 3-D printer aboard the International Space Station and used by astronauts in space. Sydney Vernon of Bellevue, Washington, the winner in the Junior Group (ages 5-12). She was able to meet the amazing people that work at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center as she was honored for her winning submission of a space planter at the annual ASME meeting in Jacksonville, Florida.

Watch the Space Tools Students in action in this YouTube video.

You can view other student 3-D printing challenges and success stories at the NASA website.

It’s more important than ever to bring space technology to the classroom.  As an educator, do you:

  • Want to keep up with the latest on NASA technology and exploration, but don’t have the time?
  • Want to be able to tell your students about the science experiments currently taking place in the International Space Station (ISS), or perhaps the latest in robotics at NASA?
  • Want short inspirational updates about NASA’s latest and greatest?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, or if you have questions of your own about NASA technology, we recommend that you check out the following resources:

Parts of this piece were originally published on Future Engineers Finalists Get First Hand Look at Future of Space Exploration on 06/18/15.

By Kelly A. Hartford, M.S.
NASA Educator, NASA STEM EPDC
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center