HAWAII – Two Hawai’i schools have been selected to work on a lunar project in partnership with NASA.
‘Iolani School and Kealakehe High School have been invited participate in a project to fly a dust shield experiment to the moon. The opportunity was spearheaded by the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES), and will be a collaborative effort between the schools, NASA, and a Google XPRIZE team.
Big Island Video News received press releases from different sources on the announcement.
This release was issued on behalf of PISCES, ‘Iolani School and the Hawaii Department of Education:
(Kona/Hilo/Honolulu, HI) – ‘Iolani School and Kealakehe High School have been invited to participate in a project to fly a dust shield experiment to the moon. Spearheaded by the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES), the project will be a collaborative effort with NASA, a Google XPRIZE team and students from ‘Iolani School and Kealakehe High School to build and operate this experiment on the surface of the moon.
“With access to cutting edge technology, students of all ages are becoming complex and creative thinkers inspired to apply classroom knowledge to real world issues,” said Dr. Timothy R. Cottrell, head of school at ‘Iolani School. “The PISCES project is an extraordinary, innovative learning opportunity for students to gain the hands-on experience, technological skills and access to a culture of collaboration that is essential to 21st century learning.”
After building an initial prototype design of the Electrodynamic Dust Shield, NASA and PISCES will provide students with the opportunity to test and analyze prototype performance, as well as design and build complementary flight components for the experiment.
“We are excited to collaborate with PISCES, NASA, and ‘Iolani School to create an invaluable learning experience for Hawaii’s students,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii State Department of Education. “Kealakehe High’s students already do great work in science and technology. This takes them to a whole new level of hands-on learning and collaboration.”
The dust shield experiment is the culmination of many years of NASA research and development. The technology repels and removes planetary dust, which collects on surfaces like solar panels and space hardware, by using a high voltage, low current device. This technology has been tested extensively on earth, and even in low gravity flights, but has not yet been tested in space or on the Moon.
“NASA’s technology could solve the dust problem in space and this lunar flight experiment will be the first time the dust shield is tested outside of the laboratory,” said Rob Kelso, executive director of PISCES. “Not only will students gain real-world aerospace engineering experience, but the design and test data they’ll be gathering could be used in future space missions. This is an exemplary project that promotes STEM education and covers multiple disciplines with a core curriculum in physics, geology, chemistry, soil mechanics, space weather, astronomy, and creative engineering design, as well as offers a crucial educational element that is often overlooked in traditional curricula: Systems Engineering.”
PISCES is a Hilo-based Hawaii state government aerospace agency, placed under the State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT). The Center develops and tests planetary surface system technologies for use on the Moon and Mars, and tests these systems on Hawaii’s volcanic terrain under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).
Established in 1997, Kealakehe High serves about 1,600 students living in diverse communities spanning 50 miles in West Hawaii. As the largest public high school on Hawaii Island, Kealakehe High places a strong emphasis on citizenship and has identified three main values: building relationships, showing respect, and being responsible to self and the community.
Founded in 1863 by King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma, ‘Iolani School is situated on a 25-acre campus and serves more than 1,880 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. A culturally diverse, co-educational, college preparatory school with approximately 306 full-time faculty, ‘Iolani is rated among the best independent schools in the country for its academic, arts and athletics programs.The Bennet Group on Feb. 20, 2015
This news release was issued by lawmakers of the State House of Representatives:
Honolulu, Hawaii — When state legislators provided funding for the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES), a Hilo-based state government aerospace agency under the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), they hoped that the education arm of the entity would encourage Hawaii’s students to shoot for the moon.
Little did they expect that goal to be taken literally. But a partnership between PISCES and NASA will task students from Honolulu’s Iolani School and the Big Island’s Kealakehe High School to design and operate an experiment on the surface on the moon by the end of 2016.
The experiment involves electrodynamic dust shield technology and the selected Hawaii students will be mentored by NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The project came about through an agreement with PISCES and NASA to work on a Hawaii high school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) project.
“It’s exciting that, out of all the public high schools in the State, Kealakehe was chosen for this. It really reflects on the students’ hard work and achievements through the years, especially the robotics team,” said Rep. Nicole Lowen (Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau). “I—and I’m sure everyone on the Big Island—take great pride in this amazing opportunity they have earned. I can’t wait to watch the project unfold.”
“I am impressed and overjoyed by the selection of students from Iolani School to take part in this outstanding project,” added Rep. Chris Lee (Kailua, Waimanalo), a graduate of Iolani School. “My enthusiastic congratulations to all of the students who will take part in this great adventure, as well as their teachers and parents.”
“To have Hawaii students involved in such a project with NASA is amazing and wonderful, and speaks to the level of talent and creativity we have among our young folks,” said Rep. Scott Nishimoto (Kapahulu, McCully, Moiliili). “It makes me very optimistic about the future of this state.”
The dust shield experiment is the culmination of years of NASA research and development. The technology repels and removes planetary dust, which collects on surfaces like solar panels and space hardware, by using a high-voltage, low-current device. The technology has been tested extensively on earth, but has yet to be test in space or on the surface of the moon.Hawaii House of Representatives on Feb. 20, 2015