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HHS pre-engineering team sweeps NASA competition

A team of pre-engineering students from Hartselle High School captured two first place, one second and the overall award in InSPIRESS, a space payload competition co-sponsored by the University of Alabama-Huntsville and NASA.

Identified as ANGGRI BIRD, Hartselle High competed in oral presentation and open house categories on the UAH campus on Dec. 10 and earlier submitted its written project proposal for judging. Twenty-eight teams participated.

Hartselle High’s team was judged best overall based on a cumulative point score from each of three judging categories. Other awards received were first for its Proposal and NASA Presentation and second for Open House (display booth).

The awards were presented in sponsor Kim Pittman’s classroom on Wednesday by UAH professors Dr. D. J., Benfield and Dr. Matt Turner.

In addition to their trophies, the team won a trip to Washington D.C. where they will make a presentation to Dr. Jim Green, NASA’s director of planetary sciences.

“I’m so excited for these students and applaud them for their accomplishments,” said pre-engineering teacher Kim Pittman and project sponsor. “Having the opportunity to go to the nation’s capital and meet and visit with Dr. Green during spring break is something

they’re really looking forward to.”

“We had a lot of good math to back up our theories” said team member and communications lead Colton Ord,  “and having video proof of our simulated moon surface shots helped a lot.”

The objective of the competition is spelled out in the name ANGGRI BIRD: Analyzing the Native Geology of Ganymede (distant moon) as a Result of the Intrusion by an Impactor to Receive Data.”

“These student spend hours working with the principles and theories of geometry, calculus and physics to deisgn and build the perfect payload,” said Pittman.

“What they achieved could some day be the payload on a NASA space mission.

ANGGRI BIRD team members are: Chris Brown, engineering head; Nick Watson, marketing; Jake Whitt, project manager; Colton Ord, commu8nication lead; Eli Baer, head of marketing; Michael Powell, engineering; and Jack Holland, communications.