New Future Engineers Challenge Asks Students to Create with Efficiency

Sept. 22, 2017


Space may be the final frontier, but as for actual space on the International Space Station (ISS), it’s a luxury. The recently launched Future Engineers challenge poses a simple question: “Why use two things when one would be better?”  

Enter “Two for the Crew,” the sixth in a series of space innovation challenges developed by Future Engineers along with the ASME Foundation with technical assistance by NASA. This national 3D design challenge asks K-12 students across the United States to combine two objects into one for astronauts on the ISS. The end product will be a model intended to be 3D printed by astronauts onboard the ISS.

Through this design and creative problem-solving challenge, students will learn about the advantages of in-space manufacturing, including customization. In short, astronauts can print what they need, when they need it, and can make very specific parts for the unique environment on the station.

“Designing 3D prints for space isn’t limited to how we currently use or perceive traditional tools and equipment.” said Deanne Bell, founder of Future Engineers. “I‘m excited to see how students innovate new hardware that is more efficient and above all addresses astronauts’ needs.”

Participants will explore concepts of mass and volume, while learning engineering and 3D design skills. Submissions from K-12 students in the United States will be accepted through Dec. 19, 2017 at Winners will be announced on March 14, 2018.

- Patti Jo Rosenthal, Programs & Philanthropy