- Associated Press - Monday, April 6, 2015

BEDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Members of a southeastern Michigan shop class are making parts for the International Space Station under a NASA program.

About 10 students from a machining program at Bedford High School are building lockers where astronauts will keep their experiments aboard the space station.

Paul Cook, a manufacturing instructor at the school, said he thought it was a prank when NASA first called him about the program.

“This is a great opportunity for the kids,” Cook told the Monroe News (https://bit.ly/1DF8H9y ). “Imagine being a student and having on your resume that you built a part for the International Space Station.”

The students are scheduled to finish one locker by the end of the school year and make multiple parts over the next five years.

Bedford High is one of 77 schools nationwide that are participating in the program. It’s called High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware, or NASA HUNCH for short. The school is in Monroe County’s Bedford Township, about 45 miles south-southeast of Detroit.

“It’s the perfect opportunity for them to engage in real-world projects working with the top (machinists) in their field,” said Bedford schools Superintendent Mark Kleinhans. “To have our students engaged with these folks is outstanding.”

To participate in the NASA program, a school must have the right equipment and a teacher qualified to use it, said Stacy Hale, HUNCH program manager.

“Not only did (Bedford) have a qualified instructor, but one who was willing to go above and beyond what was required of him,” he said. “It takes time and energy to give students what they need to succeed.”

Students will begin work within a few weeks after a contract is signed with NASA. A machinist from the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland will check with students every two weeks to help with the project and make sure they have all the parts they need.

The earliest the experiment lockers will be installed in the space station is a little more than a year away, Hale said. Students will make other hardware, but the program hasn’t yet decided what else it will build.

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Online:

https://www.nasahunch.com

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Information from: Monroe News, https://www.monroenews.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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