Press Release

Space Day 2000 Recognizes 12 ‘Stellar’ Design Solutions

By SpaceRef Editor
May 4, 2000
Filed under

Through their own innovation and
creativity, 12 student Design Challenge Teams from across the nation will be
honored on Space Day, Thursday, May 4, for their “Stellar” Design Solutions.
These solutions were selected from the hundreds submitted in response to the
Space Day Design Challenges to Living and Working In Space. (See attached
list.) Recognized for their clarity of presentation, useful application,
demonstrated collaboration and creativity, the “Stellar” Design Solutions will
be showcased on Cyber Space Day, a live, interactive Webcast emanating from
Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. on Space Day
from Noon to 3 p.m. EST.

Space Day’s Design Challenges were developed by Challenger Center for
Space Science Education as part of Space Day’s mission to advance science,
math and technology education. Created to encourage students in grades 4, 5,
and 6 to think like scientists and engineers by solving real problems of
Living and Working In Space — this year’s Space Day theme — the Design
Challenges encouraged student teams to solve one of the following:

    *  Space Walk Talk (Communication Challenge) - Design a nonverbal method
       for astronauts outside the International Space Station to communicate
       with the crew inside.

    *  Water ReCycle (Water Purification Challenge) - Develop a method of
       purifying water on the International Space Station, 500ml (2 cups) at a
       time.

    *  X-Treme Fitness (Fitness Challenge) - Create fun sports, games or
       exercise equipment that a space crew can use in microgravity.

“The Design Challenges give students opportunities to use the power of
inquiry so essential to good science and to find solutions for the problems of
living and working in space,” co-chair of Space Day and former Senator and
astronaut John Glenn said of the educational initiative.

“We’re thrilled with the nationwide response to the Space Day Design
Challenges,” commented Danny La Bry, Senior Vice President, Program
Innovations, Challenger Center for Space Science Education. “The diversity and
creativity of the student solutions submitted were outstanding! They not only
embraced the challenge of creative problem-solving, but they took advantage of
the technology to find resources and share ideas with students from all over
the country. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of these problem-solvers end up
working on the International Space Station some day.”

From Honokaa, HI to Austin, TX, and from Kingman, AZ to Rome, NY, Design
Solutions came from across the nation. They were reviewed and 12 “Stellar”
solutions were selected by Space Day’s Educational Advisory Committee, with
representatives from the National Science Teachers Association, NASA,
Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, The National Science Foundation,
Montgomery County Public Schools, Challenger Center for Space Science
Education and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

In addition to the “Stellar” Design Solutions, there were several
Honorable Mentions.
Among them was a team from The New York School for the
Deaf who submitted a solution that combined elements of American Sign Language
to address Space Walk Talk, the nonverbal communication challenge.

Described in detail on www.spaceday.com, the Design Challenges are part of
a new National Classroom, a comprehensive, online learning initiative that
supports students’ efforts with animated clues, links to important educational
and space Web sites, and bulletin boards where student teams could compare
notes with other students all across the continent. The student teams were
required to submit their Solutions by March 31.

Teachers were able to support their student teams by registering for three
free Electronic Lessons that were broadcast into their classrooms in February.
The Electronic Lessons were designed to inspire students as they worked on the
Design Challenges. Each, 15-minute Electronic Lesson concentrated on the work
that underpins space missions. For example, two people charged with purifying
water at a national aquarium demonstrated how water is cleaned and re-used. A
conditioning coach for the Houston Astros explained how he tailors exercise
for baseball players, and for crew on the International Space Station.

“I appreciated the well organized, thought-provoking activities,” said
Karen Godenschwager, a teacher from University School in Shaker Heights, OH.
“The cooperative rather than competitive design was refreshing and important
to stress with students.”

In addition to the student Solutions, the Cyber Space Day Webcast will
feature interviews with former astronaut and Senator John Glenn; Dr. Sally
Ride, the first American woman to fly in space and President of SPACE.com; Dr.
Bernard Harris, Vice President for Science, SPACEHAB, Inc; and a number of
other astronauts, engineers and scientists who will provide their unique
insights into the challenges of living and working in space.

For information on local activities on Space Day and for more information
on the “Stellar” Design Challenge Teams, please visit Space Day Showcase at
www.spaceday.com/design2000/showcase.

Space Day is the annual celebration of the achievements, benefits and
opportunities of space exploration. It is dedicated to the advancement of
science, math and technology education, and aims to inspire youngsters to
realize the vision of space pioneers.

                                SPACE DAY 2000
                           Stellar Design Solutions

                 Water ReCycle (Water Purification Challenge)

    Most Creative:
    Design Name:          The Water Ice Recycling Plan (The W.I.R.P)
    School:               Lackawanna Trail Elementary Center
                          College Ave.
                          Factoryville, PA  18419
                          (570) 945-5153
    Teacher Name:         Ms. Marty Kerzetski
    Description:          The W.I.R.P. is a method of water recycling that
                          occurs outside the Space Station. To recycle water,
                          the crew would place the water in a re-usable
                          container (the approximate size of a coffee can) and
                          place it outside the Space Station until it freezes
                          solid. The container is then brought back inside the
                          Space Station and thawed at 32.5 degrees so that
                          only the water melts. As the water melts, it is
                          drained through a funnel filter attached to the
                          container. Any impurities remain in a solid state
                          while the pure water is drained out and ready for
                          use.

    Best Collaboration:
    Design Name:         Water in the Making 2000
    School:              Lackawanna Trail Elementary Center
                         College Ave.
                         Factoryville, PA  18419
                         (570) 945-5153
    Teacher Name:        Ms. Marty Kerzetski
    Description:         The project recycles water through the use of a
                         clean, empty plastic soda bottle and several filters
                         such as charcoal, sand, gravel and a cloth-like
                         material. The resulting water is free of solids,
                         color and odor, and has a pH of 7.0. Materials used
                         in the recycling process include a zipper, tube pipe,
                         funnels, charcoal, rocks, one soda bottle, a filter,
                         and 500 ml. of water.

    Best Presentation:
    Design Name:         Recycle It!
    School:              Lackawanna Trail Elementary Center
                         College Ave.
                         Factoryville, PA  18419
                         (570) 945-5153
    Teacher Name:        Ms. Marty Kerzetski
    Description:         This water recycling solution relies on a filtering
                         process that includes a plastic bottle, nylon, fish
                         filter cloth, cotton, charcoal, aquarium gravel, and
                         sand. By attaching the filtering materials to the
                         top of the plastic bottle, and then removing the
                         bottom of the plastic bottle, the Space Station crew
                         could create a quick filtering system. To create
                         clean water, the Space Station crew would simply
                         turn the bottle so that the open bottom end is up,
                         and pour the "dirty" water into the plastic bottle.
                         The water would then flow through the series of
                         filters and then into a drinking cup as clean water
                         to drink.

    Most Useful:
    Design Name:         The Aquarius 2000
    School:              Sacred Heart Catholic School
                         5911 Reicher Dr.
                         Austin, TX  78723
                         (512) 926-0687
    Teacher Name:        Mrs. Tracy Rider
    Description:         This device purifies water for the International
                         Space Station (ISS). Through the use of tubes,
                         pumps, gas and a filter, recyclable water is boiled
                         and then filtered to create fresh, drinkable water.

                    Space Walk Talk (Communication Challenge)

    Most Useful:
    Design Name:         Space Talk and Walk
    School:              La Senita Elementary School
                         3175 Gordon
                         Kingman, AZ  86401
                         (520) 757-4328
                         lmfm34@hotmail.com
    Teacher Name:        Ms. Lisa McClure
    Description:         By using color-coded leather flaps, this design
                         solution solves the communication problem and allows
                         the astronauts to signal emergency messages to the
                         crew inside the Space Station.

    Best Collaboration:
    Design Name:         Fiber Optic Communicator
    School:              Stonewall Middle School
                         10100 Lamond Avenue
                         Manassas, VA  20109
                         (703) 361-3185
                         Wisemat@pwcs.edu
    Teacher Name:        Ms. Terri Wiseman
    Description:         This design team, ComTech, uses fiber optics to
                         solve the communication problem in space. Each space
                         suit is equipped with a keypad on one arm of the
                         suit, and the astronauts would type in messages that
                         could be sent to astronauts inside the Space
                         Station. A translator computer chip is also included
                         in the design to overcome language barriers.

    Best Presentation:
    Design Name:         Say What?
    School:              Canton Intermediate School
                         39 Dyer Avenue
                         Collinsville, CT  06022
                         (860) 693-1961
    Teacher Name:        Ms. Amy Connelly
    Description:         This project design uses a skin-fitting glove with a
                         four-inch device attached near the wrist. The device
                         sends Morse Code vibrations which would be translated
                         into words or messages by a crew member on the Space
                         Station. Wires connect to two buttons on the surface
                         of the space suit so the astronauts can send messages
                         back to the ship via microwaves.

    Most Creative:
    Design Name:         Universal Comm Blink and Wink
    School:              Home school
                         15410 NW Oak Hills Drive
                         Beaverton, OR  97006
                         (503) 614-0288
                         reneelagrow@sprintmail.com
    Teacher Name:        Ms. Renee Lagrow
    Description:         Morse Code is an international language the
                         astronauts could use for communication outside the
                         International Space Station (ISS) in two different
                         ways.  First, the astronauts could rely on
                         blinking/winking Morse Code signals using their eyes.
                         If the astronauts are too far away to use the first
                         method, they could rely on a light device built into
                         their space suits to signal Morse Code messages.

                     X-Treme Fitness (Fitness Challenge)

    Most Creative:
    Design Name:         Break
    School:              Stonewall Middle School
                         10100 Lamond Dr.
                         Manassas, VA  20109
                         (703) 361-3185
    Teacher Name:        Ms. Terri Wiseman
    Description:         The BREAK exercise system is a great way to work the
                         leg and arm muscles. It uses a bungee cord to connect
                         the two astronauts. Then they take off in opposite
                         directions using handles to pull themselves towards a
                         bell. The first one to ring the bell wins.  This
                         exercise is a fun way to stay in shape because it is
                         very competitive.

    Best Collaboration:
    Design Name:         Miraculous Moving Marathon Mat
    School:              Lackawanna Trail Elementary Center
                         College Ave.
                         Factoryville, PA  18419
                         (570) 945-5153
    Teacher Name:        Ms. Marty Kerzetski
    Description:         This project is based on the use of a mat for
                         astronauts to exercise on.  It has velcro on the top
                         so they are able to stay down in a microgravity
                         environment.  Astronauts also will receive velcroed
                         slippers and gloves.  Springs are attached on the
                         bottom of the mat so the astronauts can bounce. A
                         cushion is also included between the mat and springs
                         so astronauts have a safe landing.

    Best Presentation:
    Design Name:         Stretch and Glide (Vera Band)
    School:              Brookfield Elementary
                         4200 Lees Corner Rd.
                         Chantilly, VA  20151
                         (703) 814-8700
    Teacher Name:        Mrs. Terri Gaito
    Description:         The Stretch and Glide project uses a wooden board,
                         velcro, and an elastic band to help astronauts use
                         resistance exercises in microgravity. The Vera Band
                         will be used to stretch legs and arms and build up
                         muscle tissue. Exercise and repetition will help
                         astronauts stay healthy in space.

    Most Useful:
    Design Name:         Space Swim
    School:              Stonewall Middle School
                         10100 Lamond Dr.
                         Manassas, VA  20109
                         (703) 361-3185
    Teacher Name:        Ms. Terri Wiseman
    Description:         Space Swim simulates swimming in space which,
                         according to references, is one of the best ways to
                         exercise the entire body.  The astronaut (inside the
                         space capsule) is secured to a wall with leather
                         straps, and has bungee cords that create resistance
                         in the "swimming" motion.

SpaceRef staff editor.