NASA experts pick Sri Lankan student

Tynker, the leader in enabling kids to use code to become Makers, announced that a Sri Lankan student is among five student winners of the Forward to the Moon Mission Patch Design Challenge picked by NASA experts.

Ishhaq Ziyam (6th Grade, Colombo, Sri Lanka); Neal Apte (3rd Grade, Palo Alto, CA, USA); Madison Morgan (8th Grade, Lewiston, ID, USA); Paxton Summers (3rd grade, Baltimore, MD, USA); and Wei Rui Teng (7th Grade, Miri, Malaysia) have been picked for the Forward to the Moon Mission Patch Design Challenge.

“NASA is going to the Moon in 2024, and then on to Mars in a sustainable way. To achieve our mission, we need the next generation of STEM students to join us,” said Mike Kincaid, NASA’s associate administrator for the Office of STEM Engagement. “This collaboration with Tynker will inspire students in STEM to be a large part of our future to the Moon and Mars.”

The Mission Patch Design Challenge elicited close to 10,000 design submissions from around the world, with NASA experts evaluating each finalist project based on originality, execution, and effective use of code. The winning patch designs were beautifully and creatively crafted and can be viewed at https://www.tynker.com/play/nasa/ .

Their creators will now have the opportunity to invite their fellow students to video chat with a NASA expert and ask any and all questions about NASA, its work and the intricacies of space travel. The video chats are scheduled for the week of May 20 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 10 mission.

“We received close to 10,000 highly creative designs in the one week that the Mission Patch Design Challenge was open for submissions,” said Kaustav Mitra, Vice President of Educator Programs at Tynker.

“Each and every patch tells a unique story and impressed us and the team at NASA in different ways, so you can imagine it was difficult to select our five winners. We are thrilled with the results and hope that this first challenge has inspired a new generation of kids to learn more about space missions, NASA and the impact that Makers have on space exploration.”

The Design A Mission Patch project is the first of three planned “Moon2Mars” coding challenges being released this year by Tynker in collaboration with NASA, taking students on journeys from Earth to the Moon and then on to Mars. For this first challenge, students put themselves in an astronaut’s shoes (or, rather, space boots) and used Tynker to code patches for their imaginary spacesuits.

Since 1965, every mission to space has had its own design created by the astronauts who journey to space. The mission patch is a set of symbols, words, and pictures that represent the work the astronauts will do during the mission, and it tells the story of their journey. Designing the mission patch is one of the very first things every new astronaut crew does. For the Forward to the Moon Mission Patch Design Challenge, students were asked to imagine that they are an astronaut who is taking an incredible journey to the Moon. Using Tynker, they then created an animated ‘Forward to the Moon’ mission patch to tell their mission’s story.

The next two Moon2Mars challenges will be released in September and October, 2019. (Colombo Gazette) 

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