Kapiolani Community College students took the cake at this year’s CanSat competition, an international tournament sponsored by NASA and other American astronautical organizations in which competing teams design, build and launch a space-related mission.
The KCC team — Team Mod 6 — earned the top prize, out-performing teams from top universities across the country and in Iran, Canada and India, according to a press release.
The competition was held earlier this month in Abilene, Texas.
Team Mod 6, according to the press release, has been working hard on its mission since last January, when members presented their 100-page preliminary design review to NASA judges. After submitting other reports on their design process, the KCC students launched their final payload on a rocket flying 2,000 feet in the atmosphere somewhere above Texas.
Most of the students on KCC’s team were recruited through the campus’s summer bridge program, which is sponsored by a National Science Foundation grant. The program aims to increase the number of Native Hawaiian students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.
Team Mod 6 members include Diamond Tachera, Kelsey Kawaguchi, Rae-zan Raposas, Joshua Tamayo, Logan Tamayo, McClyde Gaborno and Taylor Viti.
CanSat team at launch site in Texas. Photo courtesy of KCC.
— Alia Wong