A couple months ago I was approached to document a project happening at Washtenaw International Middle Academy in Ypsilanti, Michigan. A passionate and gregarious group of kids had been tapped to create a game as part of the NASA/US Department of Education STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Challenge Pilot for astronauts to play in space. Yes, that kind of space.
The kids' initial idea was to include a limited set of objects the astronauts have access to during their travels. One of them is a banana. Thus, the idea of "Good Banana, Bad Banana" was born. With a couple tosses of fruit, creative velcro use and ripped t-shirts, they created an ingenious and engaging game to be played in zero gravity. The game was videotaped (see the video here) and I took photos of the process.
There were definitely challenges along the way...
But as you may have guessed by now, Team Spaced Out won their division!
I was there to watch the kids speak to an impressive panel from NASA and the US Department of Education yesterday via teleconference (along with students from the three other schools that had also won in their respective divisions). I couldn't be more proud of the kids and the staff that nurture and help them to execute their ideas. Congratulations to everyone!