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By Lisa Bielmeier
Orleans/Niagara BOCES Public Relations Director
The fashion design/interior decorating students at the Niagara Career and Technical Education Center have taken on a new project – making U.S. hygiene kits for NASA!
Teacher Debbie Wilczak has collaborated with the NASA HUNCH sewn articles program, also known as Softgoods, which empowers and inspires students through a project-based learning program where high school students learn 21st century skills and have the opportunity to launch their careers through participation in the design and fabrication of real-world valued products for NASA.
Her class is using fabric and other soft materials to create goods requested by different NASA centers, as well as the International Space Station astronaut crew. Softgoods provides a unique design opportunity using various materials to keep the crew not only safe, but clean and comfortable aboard their stay.
“My students have been cutting fabrics and sewing the kits together following NASA quality standards,” Wilczak said. “This is an exciting opportunity for students to gain experience and to know that the sewn products will be used by real astronauts.”
NASA HUNCH mentor Gene Gordon has been working with the students.
According to the HUNCH website, “We teach students about quality assurance best practices so that they learn to expect quality from all of the items they create. They are also shown proper safety documentation throughout the process, making them more accountable for the output insuring tractability from start to finish. We want to insure that all HUNCH products meet the highest quality output possible so that student work has the best chance of reaching the International Space Station.”
What a great experience for the fashion design/interior decorating students to put on college applications or resumes!