Students get Manufacturing Training from… NASA?

Talk about a once in a lifetime opportunity! While many schools have partnered with local industries to inspire a greater interest among their students in manufacturing, this year dozens of high schools affiliated with the nonprofit SME Education Foundation’s program to train future manufacturing workers joined with the High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) program.

Instead of cruising through his senior year at Hawthorne High School, Alex Lopez arrived early and stayed late. And who wouldn’t, given a rare opportunity at school to work with NASA engineers on a project destined for space.

A new industry partnership designed to boost the country’s manufacturing workforce allowed the 17-year-old to work for months on a special project, crafting custom handrails for astronauts living in microgravity aboard the International Space Station.