Students in Pine Ridge’s Advanced Manufacturing Academy, or PRAMA, have been learning how to read blueprints from NASA and utilize a CNC milling machine and other advanced tools to make parts that will be used in low-Earth orbit.
In particular, students in the academy have been working on making parts for aluminium and stainless-steel cargo suitcases that travel to and from the station. “It’s cool to think about in the future that you can think back on what you did in high school, and be like, ‘Oh yeah, I made some parts for NASA, and they went up in space,’” said junior Samuel Hayes. “It’s pretty cool to say, especially if you have children in the future.”
The effort is all part of a nationwide NASA initiative known as HUNCH, or High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware. Pine Ridge is one of 277 schools across 44 states participating.