Ten teams of high school students are competing to have their dishes selected as food for astronauts aboard the International Space Station. They’ll meet in a nationwide Culinary Challenge at 8 a.m. MDT Thursday, April 21, at Space Center Houston.
The Culinary Challenge is a component of the NASA HUNCH, or High school students United with NASA to Create Hardware, program. The teams will prepare entrées for taste-testing and evaluation. The winning meal will be prepared and packaged for future delivery and consumption on the space station.
The challenge incorporates the arts with science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, engaging students as they learn about food science and processing by developing new, tasty recipes that are still able to meet the nutritional, textural and flavor standards needed to keep astronauts happy and healthy while on the space station. Food consumed by station astronauts also is a vital element in exercise and nutrition plans that help minimize bone and muscle density loss so that they can resume normal life on Earth after spending six months or a year without gravity.
Schools represented are:
— Cy Woods High School, Cypress, Texas
— Galena Park High School, Galena Park, Texas
— Huntsville Center For Technology, Huntsville, Alabama
— iSchool STEM Academy, Lewisville, Texas
— New Horizons High School, Hampton, Virginia
— Oakridge High School, Conroe, Texas
— Passaic County Technical Institute, Wayne, New Jersey
— Trussville City Schools, Trussville, Alabama
— Windsor High School, Windsor, Connecticut
— Warren Tech High School, Lakewood, Colorado
Space Center Houston is a nonprofit education foundation and the official visitor center for Johnson Space Center.