Valley Christian Junior High Grad Wins National Recognition!
Ansel Austin, currently a freshman at Valley Christian High School, was encouraged by his seventh grade teacher, Mrs. Nancy Franklin, to enter a 3D printing design competition. That first competition, the Galaxy Box Challenge, inspired Ansel to continue his efforts in design and engineering contests. His efforts and hard work have paid off, as he was a national finalist in the Future Engineers Star Trek Replicator Challenge.
His placement as a finalist in the completion earned a MarkerBot, replicator Mini Compact 3-D printer for VCJH. The newly established MakerSpace Club will use this new printer so that all students can experiment and create with this awesome new tool.
The Junior High is so grateful to Ansel and his hard work. The students and staff, including AMSE VP/Director Mr. Werner Vavken and Junior High teacher Mr. Dwain Fairweather were on hand along with Ansel for the official unveiling of the new printer.
Here is more on the amazing work done by Ansel Austin from the NASA website: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/winning-students-selected-for-future-engineers-star-trek-replicator-challenge
The Future Engineers Star Trek Replicator Challenge asked students to “boldly go where no one has gone before,” using 3-D printing to design solutions that help astronauts “live long and prosper.” The challenge was intended for students to think about future long-duration space missions and asked them to design 3-D printable objects that will help astronauts eat nutritious meals in the year 2050. Examples of student designs ranged from creations that could grow and harvest plants to inventive ideas for preparing, eating, and disposing of food. The challenge received 405 submissions representing 30 states.
Finalist: Teen Group (Ages 13-19)
Kyle Corrette, Phoenix, Arizona – Melanized Fungarium (winner)
Ansel Austin, Cupertino, California – Spirulina Farm (finalist)
Thomas Salverson, Gretna, Nebraska – Multi-Purpose Mug (finalist)
Navya Annapareddy, Haymarket, Virginia – Cosmoaquaponics (finalist)
Each of the finalists have won a MakerBot® Replicator Mini Compact 3-D printer for their school and a PancakeBot for their family. The teen and junior national winners have also been awarded a grand prize trip to New York City to join former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino for a private viewing of the Space Shuttle Enterprise at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and a VIP tour of MakerBot’s headquarters in Brooklyn, New York.
Here is the winning submission from Ansel:
Spirulina can provide many health benefits to astronauts during space travel or on an extra-terrestrial base. It can be grown in the Spirulina Farm under LED lights in the six translucent inner containers with a growing solution. The fresh algae are separated from the solution by centrifugal action. The hand-cranked centrifuge has a gear train and three sets of ball bearings. Most of the growing solution is spun out into the outer containers, along with some spirulina culture for further growing. The inner containers can be removed and used for making spirulina-enriched drinks by adding a juice. The containers have a mesh, which allows the water to go out while the centrifuge is in action, but will not allow the drink to spill in microgravity. The twelve containers, which can be twisted into place, have screw-on lids on the bottom. This project requires a dual-extrusion printer that is capable of printing with both HIPS and a translucent, food-safe ABS filament.