Space Club students participate in colony design competition

A total of 23 teams comprised of more than 180 students from Harlandale’s four middle schools participated in Communities in Schools’ Space Club Colony Competition.

The goal was to design a new space station that orbits the Earth and keeps astronauts alive and happy for a six-month mission.

Students began preparing for the competition in January by learning about how astronauts live in space and the effects of weightlessness. The students put their new knowledge to work as they added to their projects every week since then.

Their hard work was evident as they presented research solutions and a 3-D model prototype of their space station to 25 judges at Palo Alto College on April 24

Judges scored the projects on engineering, mental health and architecture considerations.

Through the competition, students learned how to design and build a scale model, effectively planned a science experiment in weightlessness and learned about the engineering behind keeping humans alive in space.

“Beyond the technical skills, they also learned team building, communication and critical thinking to apply their knowledge to a real world problem,” CIS STEM Project Director Natasha Wilkerson said. “They also learned how to communicate their ideas effectively to professionals.”

Approximately 650 students and families attended the awards ceremony later that day to cheer on the participants.

Congratulations to all of the winners:

First place: Terrell Wells Mission 1112

Second place: Space Natives

Third place: Kingsborough Cepheus

Fourth Place: Terrell Wells Star Destroyers

Fifth Place: Terrell Wells Lunas

Sixth Place: Harlandale Possibility


Honorable Mention Mental Health: Leal Guardians of the Galaxy

Honorable Mention Architecture: Terrell Wells Pegasus

Honorable Mention Team Spirit: Kingsborough Cassiopeia

Honorable Mention Engineering: Leal Midnight Station


The program would not be possible without mentors who volunteer weekly to support students through the projects. Mentors are STEM college students and young professionals from UTSA, Trinity University, Booz Allen Hamilton, Southwest Research Institute, Texas A&M, and Lackland Airforce Base. A team of architects from Stantec also mentored the students on how to lay out the space stations and how to create a scale model.

Next up, Space Club will be launching model rockets and taking a field trip to NASA Johnson Space Center.


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