Princess Margaret Secondary School team members after learning their team won NASA’s prestigious design competition.

Surrey students win NASA prize

Teens’ team wins first place in gruelling space competition.

Students from Princess Margaret Secondary have become the first Canadian team to win the International Space Settlement Design Competition (ISSDC) at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

The teens have qualified for the contest for the last three years, but this year they became the first Canadian team to bring home top prize.

The ISSDC Aug. 2-6 brought together high school students from around the world, among them: Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, India, Pakistan, United States, Wales and the United Kingdom.

This year, Princess Margaret Secondary students partnered with schools from Florida, Wales and India under the company name Grumbo Aerospace to take first place in this gruelling competition.

The competition takes place at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The 20 schools that qualified for the international finals are formed into four “companies” whose task this year was to design a settlement on Earth’s moon to accommodate more than 10,000 people.

Two primary factors in their design were to develop and increase manufacturing capabilities on the moon, and to develop a tourism industry that would help defray the operating costs of the settlement.

After three intensive days of brainstorming, calculations, arguments, cost analyses and trade studies, the “companies” pitched their 50-page, 35-slide proposals to a panel of nine judges comprised of aerospace engineers and retired astronauts. After a 35-minute presentation, the panel scrutinizes the work with piercing, direct and blunt questions that challenge the science underlying their proposal.

Students not only worked with some of the brightest minds from other countries, but they also had the opportunity to work alongside current NASA aerospace engineers. Princess Margaret students had as a mentor Dr. Jack Bacon, often called the “new Carl Sagan.”

Two Princess Margaret students received specific honours. Alice Ho was appointed president of Grumbo Aerospace and Ramansh Chhabra received one of four Dick Edwards Leadership Awards.

The other team members were Ishmeet Singh, Zoubhair Moosuddee, Harinder Khakh, Gurleen Brar, Mariyam Ali, Ramansh Chhabra, Aaaqil Hassan, Taran Gill and Hassan Sheikh.

Students share their success with team mentor Sumit Rathore of Simon Fraser University and Princess Margaret physics teacher Joe Sihota.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Surrey Community Leader award winners revealed

Ten outstanding representatives of Surrey’s vibrant community took home trophies Tuesday night

Surrey football teams in Subway Bowl playoff hunt this week

Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers play at BC Place Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16

MINTY: No magic wand to create ’70s-themed ‘Cinderella’ panto in Surrey

Cast, crew and directors work hard to bring musical show to arts centre stage, starting Nov. 27

White Rock to ‘embark on a new direction’ for city’s management

Dan Bottrill has been the city’s chief administrative officer since 2012

Five free Christmas movies in Surrey on Cineplex ‘Community Day’ for charity

Donations encouraged on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 7

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Birthday boy: Pettersson nets 2 as Canucks beat Predators

Vancouver ends four-game winless skid with 5-3 victory over Nashville

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Bargaining to resume in Metro Vancouver transit strike as bus driver overtime ban looms

Both sides might be headed back to the table to prevent new overtime ban

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

Most Read