New York. May 2018 – Ever since she was a little girl, Ari Del Tufo would like up at the stars and marvel that out among the stars floated meteors and satellites, planets and space stations. This dream suddenly became much more tangible when she found out that NASA had a program for students to get involved in making projects for astronauts to use on the International Space Station. Ari’s teacher Mark Harris and the faculty team at Ulster Boces in New York are firm believers that the most effective learning environments include real-world challenges and hands-on problem-solving.
“Something happens when students are faced with a real-world project, with real-world consequences, time pressures, and outcomes… They become extremely invested in the project. They want to avoid any embarrassment in front of real-world audiences or brands, and so they give it their all, often going above and beyond to ensure the project is the best it can be,” said Mark Harris, HTEC Educator at Ulster Boces.
In their latest film Reach Beyond, Edge Factor linked arms with NASA astronaut Mark Polansky, NASA HUNCH, Mastercam, and a team of students to tell the story of Ari and Andrew as they create a component for NASA’s International Space Station. While in high school, these students were inspired by their CTE teacher to make something that would reach beyond the clutches of gravity.
In this film, we watch as these students work directly with NASA to train and become responsible to build and inspect, assemble and autograph a specimen locker that is now a part of the International Space Station. Designing in Mastercam, science, technology, engineering, math, CNC machining and robotics all come alive in this cinematic Edge Factor production, as students’ imaginations are sparked by the endless opportunities in advanced manufacturing.
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