By Shawn Chitnis

DENVER (CBS4) – Students at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College participated in the NASA HUNCH program over the summer. The success of their projects has created a class for seniors during the school year.

Students at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College work to create a zero gravity washing machine. (credit: CBS)

“I’ve been interested in going into a career in the engineering field,” said Kayla Celaya, a 11th grade student. “I felt like this internship and this academy would help me.”

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The challenge asked students to create a washing machine that would work in zero gravity for astronauts spending months in space. Students selected a part of the process to create a prototype and test out their skills.

A NASA astronaut in outer space (credit: NASA)

“Being creative and pushing your ideas further is really important,” said Priscila Montoya, a 10th grade student.

These students worked in teams to focus on how to get the water moving in space and get the clothing through a cleaning process when all components can move around without gravity.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College (credit: CBS)

“When I was a little girl I wanted to be an astronaut,” said Desrea Kelly, a 10th grade student.

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The school now offers a class to pursue NASA HUNCH projects all year for seniors. The summer academy encourages the students who participated in the washing machine challenge to continue their studies in engineering, whether it’s in space or on the ground.

“The world around us is growing every day,” Benjamin Cross said, an 11th grade student. “Kids have an open mind where it could help the world around us.”

LINK: Energy Day

The students from Dr. MLK Jr. Early College will have their work on the Zero Gravity Laundry Machine on display during Energy Day, on Saturday September 28th, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at East High School.

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Energy Day is a celebration of the STEM industries in Colorado, and an opportunity for children to explore their options for STEM careers. There will be dozens of exhibitors, as well as, a FIRST Robotics Tournament.

Shawn Chitnis