Ten northwest Iowa students were part of an elite group invited this past summer to participate in the International Space Settlement Design Competition (SSDC) at Kennedy Space Center in Titusville, Florida. The 10 students were part of the winning team at the regional SSDC held last March at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

The task for the international competition called for each of the four teams, or companies, to create a design proposal to build a settlement for thousands of people to live on the Earth's moon, Luna. The proposal included a presentation by team members, dimensioned drawings and defined areas designated for specific activities.

Jordan Menning, educational consultant at Northwest AEA, accompanied the students on their trips to both Johnson and Kennedy Space Centers. He noted that at Kennedy, 11 countries and 192 students were represented. They all had to find a common language and communicate how they would use theories in chemistry, physics and other subjects.

"This is a lifetime opportunity for the students to work with peers from all over the world in a real-life industry setting, and it is the most realistic STEM experience I've seen for students," stated Menning.

The students who participated in the competition at Kennedy Space Center included:

Student School District
Devon Byers River Valley High School
Josh Schriever Central Lyon High School
Kenten Kingsbury Lawton-Bronson High School
Levi Paulsen Woodbury Central High School
Tyler Phelps West Monona High School
Chayce Glienke Alta-Aurelia High School
Hannah Rens East High School
Kaity Brake Alta-Aurelia High School
Meridith Kestel Alta-Aurelia High School
Landon Paulsen Woodbury Central High School