HUNCH or High schools United with NASA to Create Hardware is an effort to bring high schools students new educational experiences with NASA projects. Originally started 13 years ago with a handful of schools producing hardware training items for the International Space Station. Now it has grown to over 150 schools across the country, not only producing hardware for flight and training, but branching out to design projects, sewing flight and training articles, and an Astronaut Culinary Challenge. Over 20,000 students have participated with 94% moving on to peruse undergraduate degrees.
Through our various programs we hope to reach out to students across the nation, with diverse interests, and bring them into the International Space Station program creating all kinds of products to improve the lives of the Space Station crew. Working closely with the different program offices as well as getting input directly from Astronauts we hope to provide many different avenues beyond the STEM fields and bring in those who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to be a part of the global effort to research in space.
We mainly work to improve the lives of the crew from personal items to updating parts of the station itself from the original designs. HUNCH fills a unique niche for the International Space Station, by covering a wide range of topics we can bring in students who might not of otherwise realized that their work could be used by the Space Station, as well as work on items that might not see interest from larger contractors or programs. From working in the STEM fields to culinary, and sewing we have grown to encompass nearly the entire country and are still growing into new schools as well as new fields of research.