Riverfield Country Day School Students Seek Solutions to Aid in NASA’s Journey into Deep Space

Upper School students at Riverfield Country Day School in Tulsa are participating in NASA’s App Development Challenge (ADC) led by the Johnson Space Center’s Office of STEM Engagement. NASA’s App Development Challenge is a new pilot program as part of the agency’s Next Generation STEM Initiative and provides an opportunity for middle and/or high school students to demonstrate the practice of coding and app development.
In June 2019, NASA will launch a full-stress test of the Orion spacecraft’s Launch Abort System, called Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2), which will demonstrate the LAS can send Orion and its crew a safe distance if an emergency arises during ascent to orbit. This flight test is a critical step to demonstrate Orion’s safety as NASA leads the next steps of human exploration to the Moon and into deep space. The challenge asks middle and high school teams to design an app to visualize three minutes of simulated test data in support of the upcoming AA-2 flight test.
In Round 1, teams will post their app designs online for consideration by NASA for use in future missions. In Round 2, teams with favorable submissions will advance to present their app in an interview with NASA engineers working on the AA-2 Launch Test. After this round, NASA will select student team(s) for an all-expenses paid trip to a NASA field center in early summer, 2019.
The challenge began March 13. Round 1 participation concluded with video submissions May 1. Riverfield’s team say they are excited to see what the NASA engineers think of their app.
The App Development Challenge is administered through NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement to provide students a chance to contribute to NASA’s future missions.
For more information about NASA’s STEM Engagement programs, visit nasa.gov/stem.
The students’ teacher is Perry Kuhn, and a demonstration of the App was held at the school’s year-end wrap up of the year’s learning experience, called Spring Expo.
At the Spring Expo, the sophomores held a World’s Fair, the state champion Speech and Debate team showcased their talents, and the Lower School hosted a ribbon-cutting for the barnyard improvements they’ve been creating this year.