PCTI Students Partner with NASA HUNCH Program

PCTI’s Manufacturing Technology display created for the NASA HUNCH event.

Passaic County Technical Institute (PCTI) is thrilled to celebrate their partnership with the NASA HUNCH (High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware) program, which fosters instructional partnerships between NASA and educational institutions. A stirring kick-off celebration was held at PCTI on Thursday, February 18th as NASA representatives Florence Gold and John Keck welcomed Manufacturing and Culinary Arts students into the exciting initiative that provides real-world and hands on experience with the space program. Also joining in the festivities were New Jersey Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, Passaic County Freeholder Pat Lepore, Board of Education Commissioner Michael Coscia, business partners, administrators, parents, and students.

Manufacturing Technology students gather at PCTI’s NASA HUNCH kick-off event.

Manufacturing Technology students gather at PCTI’s NASA HUNCH kick-off event.

The kick-off event underscored the impact of inspiring the next generation of researchers, designers, and space explorers. Manufacturing Technology students were tasked with the challenge of utilizing their skills to lathe a screw sleeve for a stowage locker for the International Space Station – one of fifty-one parts manufactured directly by students of the HUNCH program. PCTI’s participation opens new doors for more projects with NASA in the future. Before the stowage unit is sent into space, PCTI’s Manufacturing Technology students will have the opportunity to sign their work, forever immortalizing their contribution to the HUNCH project.

Culinary Arts students prepare samples of their Red Pepper Puree Risotto to be judged as an entry in the NASA Culinary Challenge.

Culinary Arts students prepare samples of their Red Pepper Puree Risotto to be judged as an entry in the NASA Culinary Challenge.

Another segment of the partnership involved Culinary Arts students participating in the NASA Culinary Challenge. They cultivated a specially designed meal for astronauts to enjoy in space by embracing creativity, research, and skill. Culinary Arts students Carolan Terrero, Jada Sanders, and Sierra Bronas spent months developing a vegetarian entrée for the NASA Hunch Culinary Challenge. Their Red Pepper Puree Risotto was ingeniously designed to meet strict requirements, including the rehydration process and meeting the conditions of microgravity. Students took great care to ensure that the taste and texture of their risotto would remain the same, whether prepared on earth or in space. The delectable recipe was judged by notable attendees and received high marks across the board.

PCTI’s NASA HUNCH kick-off event was a resounding success and truly showcased the talents and intelligence of the school’s Manufacturing Technology and Culinary Arts students.

A video made by Passaic County Technical Institute commemorating their partnership with NASA HUNCH, featuring a special spot on News 12 New Jersey.