NASA has been at the forefront of promoting STEM education and these challenges are a great way to engage young people in these fields. Sometimes the most innovative minds are those that are as yet untarnished by the "professional" realm. And NASA benefits by getting some fresh ideas from the next generation of engineers. It's a win-win for sure.
It is a great opportunity for the students to explore and enhance their skills by working in the real world situation and apply their bookish knowledge in the real world. It will help them a lot in getting acquainted with the challenges of professional life and prepare them beforehand for taking these challenges successfully.
Yes, AnandY, for sure, and this is why NASA is promoting these programs so much. I know personally I learn faster and better by doing, not just reading, writing and studying, and the next generation of engineers certainly will benefit from this hands-on approach to STEM.
@ Elizabeth M, you are right, credit goes to NASA for motivating the students to get STEM education. This motivation for studying STEM subjects has been waning lately. NASA will surely benefit by getting untapped minds into work. Besides, it will work as a huge incentive for students to blossom and come up with innovative ideas.
While those self-inflating modules seem to be the wave of the future, they frighten me somewhat knowing that a meteor the size of a pebble could destroy everything. Hopefully those STEM students will figure out a way to design the starship Enterprise in our lifetimes. Then I would have no problem going into space.
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