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Twelve Hollenstein Students Will Represent US in International Space Settlement Design Competition Finals

Posted June 4

Gavin Stearman  Nathan Miranda  Loren Lutchman  Samantha Ferguson  Schematics for Space Development  

Pictured above from left are Gavin Stearman, Nathan Miranda, Loren Luchtman, and Samantha Ferguson. Students had one week to work virtually with other students from across the nation to create a comprehensive plan to build in space.

Twelve Hollenstein Career and Technology Center (HCTC) students will represent the United States in the International Space Settlement Design Competition Finals tentatively scheduled July 24-27 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The U.S. sends 24 competitors to the international championship, and this year half of them will be Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD students.  

Chisholm Trail High School students Gavin Stearman, junior, Loren Luchtman, junior, Nathan Miranda, senior, and Samantha Ferguson, junior, were among the top performers in the International Space Settlement Design’s Regional Finals held in April. 

Team alternates are CTHS senior Ray Rodriguez and juniors Cristina Ropa and Elizabeth Duque; BHS juniors Madeline Smith, Dean Jackson, and Kaitlyn Tarr; and SHS senior Aidan Garcia and junior Nick Pearce. These students will most likely participate in the international championship.  

These scholars will compete among other students from United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, France, Germany, Russia, Pakistan, Japan, China, and India.   

In April, a total of 22 EMS ISD students competed in the Regional Finals against others from across the country. NASA allows HCTC to enter more students in the competition than any other school nationwide because the Center produces more Top 12 finalists and alternates who advance to internationals. HCTC has sent 21 students to the worldwide competition since 2014. 

“The contest demands working as a team, to a demanding and uncompromising deadline, with others you’ve never met, who are as driven as you to succeed and forces you to split the workload,” said HCTC aerospace teacher Rick Griffith. “I am proud of my students’ tireless efforts.” 

This year’s Regional Finals was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. Competitors are randomly placed in teams, and they had one week to put together their project. Stearman, who was chosen as his team’s president, said his group easily put 80 hours into the project. 

“I had such a great feeling of pride and accomplishment. This is the best we could have done,” Stearman said. “Once we finished, we didn’t care what position we finished in because we put all the work in we could. I was astounded by the hours they were willing to put in.” 

The contest is centered on designing the international space community’s actual goal of developing an industrial complex in space. Students are randomly assigned to teams, and these groups must organize into a company and respond to a proposal to build a single complex for 18,000 inhabitants in space.  

Companies create a proposal for a panel of judges comprising NASA and space-industry engineers as well as PhD math and science scholars. The proposals are scored on innovation, balance, credibility, and thoroughness. The experience requires students to integrate their knowledge and skills in aerospace engineering, physics, math, chemistry, environmental science, robotics, biology, computer science, writing, speaking, and design.