Shooting for the Stars

In a small classroom within DSHS, a group of students brainstorm, spitting out ideas with fervor in order to get each one across. With a strong interest in engineering and the expanses of the universe, the members of the Space and Astro-Science club join together weekly to work on out-of-this-world projects and discuss potential problems and their solutions.

The Space and Astro-Science club, which meets on Tuesdays in room C.202, first got its legs in 2016, when its founder noticed something missing on the school’s list of clubs to join.

“I was looking for an astronomy club, but the school didn’t have one,” Junior Megan Hitt said. “I actually started the club.”

To kick off the 2018-2019 school year, the club participated in a competition known as Cities in Space.

“We choose either to be on the moon, on mars, or an alien planet, or in space, and we chose to be [in] free-floating space,” sophomore Daniel Pieper said. “We developed a colony with a thousand starting people to grow and be able to survive in space.”

The club happened to win first place with their design, becoming the first team to do so from DSHS.

“At my old school we competed in the Cities in Space competition, and I really wanted to do that here,” Hitt said. “I knew that doing it here we could do so much better than at my old private school.”

Presently, the Space and Astro-Science club has its hands full with a difficult engineering-based project that needs the brainpower of each member, new and old alike.

“We’re going to send it off into the atmosphere and it’s going to take pictures of the curvature of the earth,” junior Maddie Brandt said. “Getting the materials and actually figuring out how to put them together, that was probably the hardest part.”

Aside from physical projects, the club often discusses solutions to difficult problems. These include feats of engineering, talks about space, and different innovations that could potentially further humanity, though some answers come easier than others.

“We were trying to come up with a way to get water filtration and someone just goes ‘well, you could just run it through a filter,’” Pieper said. “We’d been trying to think of really advanced methods of doing it, but sometimes simplest is best.”

The club also plans and hosts community gatherings known as ‘star parties,’ with the next one set for February 22.

“A star party is where we’re gonna get the school’s planetarium out and all of the telescopes,” Hitt said. “We’re gonna get them all out, and invite the entire community, and just invite them to come stargaze with us.”

Within the Space and Astro-Science club, members have a place where they can discuss their bright ideas to like-minded peers who match their gusto for problem-solving. More information about the group can be found on their instagram, @dshs_space.

“My favorite thing that I get to do is just to build and design these really cool ideas and technologies that we could possibly use one day,” Pieper said. “It’s very interactive and there’s a lot of cool things you can do and think about.”

Written by Katie Haberman, Feature Editor

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