Taking Miriam Academy into space

MirAc space project to enter NASA competition

STEM+teacher+Brandi+McKenney+asks+Sam+Cordes+and+Zander+Alper+to+research+problems+with+NASA%27s+rotation+wheels.+Sam+and+Zander%2C+along+with+classmate+Jake+Wilson%2C+made+up+the+space+settlement+design+team.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Taking Miriam Academy into space

STEM teacher Brandi McKenney asks Sam Cordes and Zander Alper to research problems with NASA's rotation wheels. Sam and Zander, along with classmate Jake Wilson, made up the space settlement design team.

STEM teacher Brandi McKenney asks Sam Cordes and Zander Alper to research problems with NASA's rotation wheels. Sam and Zander, along with classmate Jake Wilson, made up the space settlement design team.

STEM teacher Brandi McKenney asks Sam Cordes and Zander Alper to research problems with NASA's rotation wheels. Sam and Zander, along with classmate Jake Wilson, made up the space settlement design team.

STEM teacher Brandi McKenney asks Sam Cordes and Zander Alper to research problems with NASA's rotation wheels. Sam and Zander, along with classmate Jake Wilson, made up the space settlement design team.

Story and captions by Daniel Meir, Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Space is as vast as it is interesting. There is never any thought of traversing it all. Because of this, space is thought of as mysterious, unreachable, and thrilling. Yet in science fiction and fantasy, there is often the idea of space settlement; cities orbiting around planets, buildings with zero gravity, and all that. Up to now, there has been naught but stories, hopes, and dreams. But NASA changed that from a mere fantasy into what very well may be reality soon. And Miriam Academy may be a part in shaping that reality.

Little more than a few weeks ago, Mr. Chris Holmes announced that Miriam and all the students would be participating in the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest; in which students ‘develop space settlement designs and related materials.’ They’ll be designing places where people will permanently live. Students will do this by studying space settlement. The project will be due March 1st of 2017, and the conference in which all teams present their projects is in May.

Each student is assigned a certain job in a group contributing a certain thing to the project. This includes the Space Settlement Design Team, the School Design Team, the Transportation Design Team, and the Recreation Design Team.

“I feel excited that we get to participate in this.”, said student Zander Alper, of the Space Settlement Design Team. “ I don’t care if we win or lose, because this is our chance to show that even kids with disabilities can compete.”

Indeed, it’s not only for the competition. This is a chance for students to learn about sciences, math, humanities and space in even greater depth than at school.

“The project had me reorganize the order I’ll need to present topics to class”, said teacher Mrs. Mckenney of the contest. “For this project we’re going to have to know about radiation, heat,  states of matter, and the solar system.”

But is such an ambitious plan realistic? Is space settlement even possible?

“In one of the books I read, called physics of the impossible”, remarks student Sam Cordes, “They didn’t rank anything as impossible. This project likely isn’t possible with current technology, but probably will be within the next few centuries.”

And who knows? Maybe our grandchildren, great-grandchildren, or even in further generations, space settlement might be no longer a dream or an idea, but a way of life.

img_5357

Austin Sams paints a ring for his planet using acrylic paint and Styrofoam in the Humanities class in October. The students recently started working on the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest, a project that students around the world compete in, annually. (Caption by Kendall Chamberlin)

planet

Students made their own planets for their space settlement project last month. Mr.Holmes hung them up by poking a hole with a pencil, threading a straightened paper clip through the side, and looping fishing line around it. (Caption by Kendall Chamberlin)

jake

Jake Wilson, a member of the Space Settlement Design Team, ponders which items to use for his planet creation. Jake said that he grabbed anything that would make his planet cool. (Caption by Kendall Chamberlin)

sam-daniel-and-zander

On October 7, Zander Alper, Daniel Meir, & Sam Cordes work on the finished product of the space settlement. They pondered what their space settlement would look like, for a world wide project that shows what kids with learning disabilities can do. (Caption by Zander Alper)

molly-maria-emma-and-mrs-puttman

Mrs. Puettmann leads a discussion with school design team members in the “Blue” Room in early October. This was meant to make the “ideal” school for the MirAc project. (Caption by Zander Alper)

jake-and-mrs-puttman

Jake Wilson explains the logistics of MirAc to Mrs. Puettmann in the “Blue” Room on the first day of the project. This project will be submitted to NASA. (Caption by Zander Alper)

jacob-bobby-jack-austin-and-mrs-puttman

Austin Sams, Jack Hereford, Bobby Zaitz, and Jacob Wiley lead a discussion on what the space settlement should look like inside. This discussion took place in the Humanities room near the back left corner. (Caption by Zander Alper)

jacob-and-mrs-porrot

Jacob Wiley creates his “planet” that orbits the “star” Proxima Centauri. Styrofoam was used to make all the planets that are currently hanging around “Proxima Centauri” in Room 14 of Miriam Academy. (Caption by Zander Alper)

Chris Holmes

jack-and-the-sun

Jack Hereford makes a replica of Proxima Centauri, which now hangs in the “Blue Room,” the closest star to the Sun. Our MirAc Space Settlement (MASS) will be orbiting around Proxima Centauri B. (Caption by Zander Alper)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email