ARGENTINA: Four students from Don Bosco Technical Institute León XIII win competition sponsored by NASA
(MissionNewswire) Four students, who are in their fifth year at Don Bosco Technical Institute León XIII and part of the Atlas Group in Buenos Aires, Argentina, won a competition sponsored by NASA. The students designed a car and beat out 35 other projects from 11 countries to participate in the first race to be held on the moon. The race is organized by the Moon Mark group and is scheduled for October 2021.
Nicolás Macullan, Pablo Molina Ruiz, Federico Muzzio and Francisco Yennacaro knew each other at school and had already worked together. To be successful they divided their tasks. Macullan took care of the ideas for the car’s suspension. Ruiz handled 3D design and software. Muzzio researched the moon’s natural conditions, and Yennacaro took care of the necessary calculations.
The pace of work was challenging. The competition lasted a month, and there was a task that had to be completed each week. Ruiz said, “During the last two weeks of the project, we had been fighting against time. We thought we were done, and then realized that something was missing. We had to start over.”
Yennacaro noted, “It was fantastic. The experts were surprised to see that 17-year-olds were able to do in four weeks what many engineering students take several months to do.”
The natural conditions of the moon, where temperatures vary from –100° C to +100° C, were one of the great challenges. Macullan said, “We rushed to read a NASA manual on the production of microsatellites, looking for ideas.”
At the Salesian school, the four learned about 3D design and engine operations, along with the right method to face the challenge. Macullan added, “They taught us to work on projects, for real life. And they gave us the values to work in a group.”
Salesian programs across Argentina are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country prepares youth for technical, vocational or university studies. Other programs help meet the basic needs of poor youth and their families by providing shelter, proper nutrition and medical care, helping youth to engage in their education and have hope for the future.
More than a quarter of the people in Argentina live in conditions of poverty with no formal employment and poor-quality education, according to the World Bank. The country’s high school dropout rate is close to 37 percent and youth account for a third of those unemployed. Almost 12 percent of children aged 5 to 17 are working instead of being in school and 20 percent need government assistance. Many face malnutrition, a lack of clean water and sewage, and inadequate housing.
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Salesian Missions – Argentina
World Bank – Argentina