Mr. Stacy Hale, Project Manager for NASA's HUNCH Program visited with students in Mr. Jim Hilyer's Product Design & Manufacturing senior (afternoon) class at the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center at Olean on Thursday, February 9. Students in the class designed and manufactured part of the stainless steel latch assembly for a storage locker, which will soon carry experiments to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX-10. SpaceX-10 is currently scheduled to launch on February 15.
Mr. Stacy Hale, Founder and Project Manager for NASA's HUNCH Program, speaks with students in Mr. Jim Hilyer's Product Design & Manufacturing classes at the CTE Center at Olean.
Mr. Hale brought a single storage locker, which is about the size of a bread box. NASA uses the storage lockers to transport supplies into space to the International Space Station (ISS). Mr. Hale’s primary purpose for his trip to Olean was to give all of the seniors in the PD&M class a chance to sign the locker with a special Sharpie before it goes into space.
After each of the students had signed the locker, Mr. Hale said, “It is cool that your signature is going to be out of this world.” The signatures will be short-lived however, as once the items have been removed from the storage containers, the lockers are usually jettisoned and burn up upon re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.
Olean High School senior Korryn Martin (at right) served as the lead designer and programmer on this year’s project. Mr. Hale watches as Miss Martin signed the metal storage locker that will be sent to space in mid-February.
High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) is an educational initiative originally started by Stacy Hale to give High School students the opportunity to create hardware with NASA’s aid. Students in the HUNCH program receive valuable experience creating goods for NASA from hardware to the culinary arts, while NASA receives the creativity of the High School students.
NASA provide materials, equipment, and mentoring to each of the HUNCH teams across the country so they can complete their projects to near expert quality over the course of their studies while keeping the students as safe as possible when working with the machinery.
Mr. Hilyer observed, "The NASA HUNCH program has been great for our BOCES students, giving them the opportunity to work on real-world projects that incorporate CAD, CNC programming, and machining. It's also great that our students can put on their resume that they've created parts for NASA!"
ABOVE - Product Design & Manufacturing Instructor Jim Hilyer shows the finished latch part (in his right hand) and the stainless steel blank (in his left hand) supplied by NASA and used as raw material.
BELOW - Mr. Hilyer shows the circa 1980 drawing of the latch assembly, from the space shuttle program, which is used as the basis for all student-developed latch assemblies.
Mr. Hale said the finished storage lockers weight a little over 9 pounds, but each locker requires more than 170 pounds of raw materials to make. In addition to providing a valuable learning experience for the students, he said the HUNCH program has saved NASA a lot of money. According to Mr. Hale, “Before HUNCH, Lockheed wanted to charge NASA $1 million to make 20 of the storage lockers. That is about $50,000 each. We probably make them for less than $4,000.”
He added, “The (HUNCH) program has been very successful. We are planning to make about 15 (storage lockers) a year for the next eight years.”
Several students from the Product Design & Manufacturing classes at the Olean CTE Center plan to attend the HUNCH Ceremony on April 22 at the Plum Brook Station, a remote test facility for the NASA Glenn Research Center located in Sandusky, Ohio.
Olean High School senior Korryn Martin served as the lead designer and programmer on this year’s project. Miss Martin said the project started with an original drawing of the part -- created in the 1980s as part of the space shuttle program – which she used to imagine and then develop a new drawing of a modified design. She further explained the new drawing also involved changing some of the old G & M Code.
According to Miss Martin, she probably spent part or all of 20 classes on the project. In addition to creating the new drawing, she did all of the programming for the CNC machining of the piece. Each piece takes about an hour to make on the machine, which uses three separate bits to slowly manufacture the part, taking 20/1,000ths off in each pass.
Miss Martin offered, “This project has been pretty interesting. I’m kind of interested in space, and ever since I was a young age, I have been interested in making or inventing something. So this project has brought both of those interests together.”
Olean High School senior Korryn Martin, who served as the lead designer and programmer on this year’s project, starts the CNC program to machine one of the latch parts.
Korryn’s mother, Kristina Capizzi, said her daughter has been much more interested in school since she started attending BOCES as a junior last year. Before BOCES, she struggled in school.
Her daughter, Korryn, agreed and said, “I am planning to move to Florida after graduation. I’m not sure what I will do after I get there, but I am thinking of possibly taking a two-year course in programming or CAD design.”
Mr. Hale congratulates another student after he signed the locker.
Ms. Joyce Louser, a representative from New York State Senator Cathy Young’s office, reads a letter to the PD&M students from the Senator congratulating them on their accomplishments.
Another dignitary, Olean Mayor Bill Aiello was also on hand for the occasion. He is shown here talking with some of the PD&M students. The mayor noted the continued availability of good-paying machining jobs in the local area.
Korryn Martin watches as coolant is continuously applied throughout the machining process.
Ms. Joyce Louser, a representative from New York State Senator Cathy Young’s office, proudly shows off a memento of her visit to the PD&M class at Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES.
An assortment of locker parts and other items made by PD&M students at the CTE Center is shown.