Elvin Sam, David Venne, Randall Sinner and Cole Zeitz

Case High School students Tyler Matson and Elvin Sam, along with Randall Sinner and Cole Zeitz pose with their teacher David Venne after hearing the news they are headed to Houston, Texas.

Submitted photo

MOUNT PLEASANT — Case High School seniors Tyler Matson and Elvin Sam, along with sophomores Randall Sinner and Cole Zeitz, have been invited work with NASA engineers on a project to reduce waste in space.

It’s all part of an initiative called HUNCH or High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware. Earlier this year, more than 300 teams from all over the country competed to create projects that help NASA engineers solve real-life problems. Case High School students had to help engineers figure out a way to dispose of their food cans.

“When astronauts are in space a lot of their food comes in cans,” David Venne, Case High School’s physics teacher and team advisor explained. “So, the students created a can squisher to reduce the amount of waste astronauts produce.”

Students had to use a variety of skills including working with 3D models and welding to create their final product. They presented that product at a regional competition in East Troy and were one of seven teams invited to the Space Center in Houston, Texas to display and present their projects to NASA personnel.

“I am blown away by the talent of my students,” Venne said. “Being a part of something like this and working on a project that could potentially influence them to want to pursue engineering is why I do the work I do.”

The students were to travel to Houston this month. In addition, Case High School also had three teams that qualified as contenders, meaning if they continue to work on their projects they could be invited to Houston next year.

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