A team of students from Millburn High School celebrated when the squad was chosen as a Top Team in App Development Challenge (ADC) of NASA headed by the Office of STEM Engagement of the Johnson Space Center. “Team Moon Millers” comprised six participants of the Advanced Space Exploration group, as per a school release: Devdutt Nadkarni, Liadain O’Toole, Aryan Dugar, Smit Kapadia,  Eliana Ries, and Sahil Shah. John Yi, the teacher of MHS Chemistry as well as Space Exploration, acted as the lead instructor for the challenge. Yi also served as the instructor for the Millburn space exploration class. Last January, Eli Nadell presented his candidacy application for the latest Mars Rover, bringing it to the semifinal round.

Team Moon Millers provided a video showing their software and also their outreach activities after focusing on their app for 7-weeks. In a meeting with scientists and engineers collaborating with Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) of the NASA unit, the team then proceeded to another round of the competition, which included showcasing their app. As a top tier team, on February 16 and 17, 2021, Team Moon Millers will actively participate in the ADC Virtual Culminating Event. The simulated culminating experience will allow the team to engage in innovative opportunities for NASA, meet business leaders, and showcase their role in NASA leadership presentations.

As a component of the agency’s Next-Gen STEM Initiative, NASA’s Software Development Challenge is a programming challenge where NASA agency introduces technological issues to middle and high school students requesting student input to future discovery missions. Students are actively interested in the Artemis Generation’s attempts to place American explorers, along with the first woman as well as the next man, on the Moon by the year 2024 by reacting to App Development Challenge. Students collaborated with this ADC team to create an interface that visualizes the Moon’s South Pole area and shows important navigation and communication detail.

In partnership with the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) unit of NASA, this year’s competition was developed to support future mission planning as well as training activities specifically. NASA’s SCaN unit acts as the Program center for all space communications operations of NASA agency that are important to NASA’s space travel mission operations. In the year 2019, Millburn’s Space Exploration group won the NASA App Development Challenge and secured the Kennedy Space Center an all-expense paid flight. The group won the NASA ROADS on the Mars Freestyle Competition in 2020, replicating the NASA Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover’s mission targets.


By Adam

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