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

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Structure fire destroys Surrey tire shop, closes section of Fraser Highway

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

UPDATE: Missing 17-year-old girl found

Mikayla Logan was last seen in Guildford on Tuesday, May 14

Surrey to begin ‘public engagement process’ on policing transition next week

First in a series of public events set for May 23 at Cloverdale rec centre

Construction launched for South Surrey high school

Education minister announces $6M for completion of land for new school in Sunnyside neighbourhood

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Multi-vehicle collision on highway in Chilliwack

Accident involves several vehicles, in the westbound lanes says Drive BC

Man dies after being hit by car in East Vancouver

The driver involved is cooperating with police

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Most Read