March 22, 2017 – Future Engineers, an award-winning online education platform that hosts national innovation challenges for K-12 students, announces the eight finalists for the Mars Medical Challenge. Sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Foundation with technical support from NASA, students were tasked to create a digital model of a medical or dental object that could be 3D printed by an astronaut to maintain physical health on a three-year, round trip mission to the red planet.
Currently, NASA astronauts are conducting research aboard the International Space Station (ISS) related to the health challenges that astronauts face on prolonged space missions. As they prepare for round trip journeys into deep space, beyond the moon, and on to Mars or other destinations, the health and safety of the astronauts who travel there are paramount. This challenge has placed these K-12 students squarely in the middle of problem solving for this important scientific mission.
The intention in this competition is for the student’s design to be 3D printed in space for medicinal needs including: diagnostic, preventative, first aid, emergency, surgical and/or dental purposes. Four finalists from each age division have been selected, including Lewis Greenstein ‘17, who attends Seattle Academy. In recognition of their accomplishment, Future Engineers’ partner MakerBot will donate a total of eight Replicator Mini+ 3D printers to each finalist’s school, library or education organization of their choice, significantly exposing thousands of students to this technology as a result of Lewis’ achievement. UPDATE: As Seattle Academy already has a 3D printer, Lewis and SAAS have decided to donate the 3D printer, along with a new laptop, to our neighbors on 17th and Union, The World School.
The Mars Medical Challenge finalists are as follows:
Teen Finalists (Ages 13-19):
- Brianna Balzan (Slingerlands, N.Y.) – BLOOD CIRCULATION ASSISTANT
- Ansel Austin (Cupertino, Calif.) – FLEX BRACE
- Lewis Greenstein (Seattle, Wash.) – DUAL IV / SYRINGE PUMP
- Vitus Putra (Cary, N.C.) – SPACE SURGERY TRAY
Junior Finalists (Ages 5-12):
- Amelia Crawford (Edmonds, Wash.) – DENTAL BLOCK NEEDLE GUIDE
- Lauren Lee (Cupertino, Calif.) – DRUG DELIVERY DEVICE
- Daniel Salverson (Gretna, Neb.) – AXK BRACE
- Saksham Saksena (Germantown, Tenn.) – MARS MEDICAL KIT
Out of these eight finalists, one winner from the junior and the teen divisions will be announced on March 28, 2017. Each will win a grand prize trip to Houston, Texas and tour NASA Johnson Space Flight Center to learn about space medicine, human space exploration and Mars.
“It is remarkable to see how these students have pushed their skills and creativity to innovate something truly unique in space travel,” said Deanne Bell, CEO and founder, Future Engineers. “This ongoing collaboration between the ASME Foundation and NASA catapults our youth into another realm of science and engineering expertise. I am happy that our platform continues to challenge students to dream big and think off-planet.”
Future Engineers challenges are designed to extend the reach of NASA’s research by inspiring and educating the next generation of scientists and engineers about 3D printing technology, space exploration and digital design skills. The Mars Medical challenge is the fifth in a series of space innovation challenges developed by Future Engineers with the ASME Foundation, and with technical assistance provided by NASA.
Challenges are free for student participants and the challenge site provides educational resources including links to free design software and a suite of brainstorming categories to get students started with creating their designs. Additionally, the site provides teacher-specific tools to assist with classroom registration and submission. To learn more about the Future Engineers 3D Space Challenges, information on how to enter or the judging criteria, visit www.FutureEngineers.org. Follow Future Engineers on Twitter @k12futuree (#MarsMedical) or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/K12futureengineers/
About Future Engineers
Future Engineers is an online education platform that hosts national innovation challenges for K-12 students. Future Engineers’ inaugural 3D space challenge series, sponsored by the ASME Foundation with technical assistance from NASA, has produced historic achievements including the first student-designed 3D printer in space. Future Engineers received a 2016 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the U.S. Department of Education and was named a Breakthrough Award winner by Popular Mechanics in 2015. All challenges are offered free for student/classroom participation and are aligned with STEAM and Maker education.
About the ASME Foundation
The ASME Foundation provides support for ASME programs, scholarships, awards and honors while championing ASME’s mission to serve diverse global communities by advancing, disseminating and applying engineering knowledge for improving the quality of life, and communicating the excitement of engineering. The ASME Foundation advances the field of engineering and molds future engineers by supporting K-12 STEM education programs, engineering for global development projects, university student and early career development, and public policy and federal fellows programs.