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North Oconee High School team wins NASA challenge

A team of students from North Oconee HighNOHS NASA Winners School was announced a winner of the NASA TechRise Student Challenge – meaning their experiment will fly on Blue Origin’s New Shepard Rocket. This experiment will test if the relationship between pressure, velocity, and elevation when dealing with fluids is the same in microgravity – outer space – as it is on Earth.


“It is humbling to see the work of our students being recognized in the NASA TechRise Student Challenge,” said Principal Dr. Philip Brown. “This interdisciplinary study highlights STEM education at its core with students using physics, mathematics, engineering, and computer science to design an incredibly innovative experiment. Congratulations to this team and their instructor, Dr. Scott Thompson, on applying for and receiving this distinguished award.”


The team of students – Andrew Allen, Jack Armstrong, Michael Im, and Ian Shi – worked under the guidance of science teacher Dr. Scott Thompson. Their project is titled “Bernoulli’s Principle: Compressibility of Water in Microgravity."


Said science teacher Dr. Scott Thompson, “Being selected as a NASA TechRise winner in a national contest is an incredible honor. For my students to get the chance to research, design, propose – and now build and conduct – an experiment is an amazing opportunity. The fact that the experiment will fly on a rocket and be conducted in space makes this opportunity truly inspiring. I often talk with colleagues about how exceptional many of my students are. This experience will literally allow them to reach for the stars.”


North Oconee High School has received a $1500 grant from NASA for the construction of the experiment that will be conducted in outer space.


Below are the main points of the project:

  • In the field of fluid dynamics, Bernoulli’s principle defines the relationship between pressure, velocity, and elevation.
  • The principle defines the relationship between the speed, pressure, and height of a fluid.
  • Bernoulli’s principle has been verified countless times on Earth – but not in microgravity.
  • The team of students has created plans for an apparatus to fly in space to determine what happens to liquid in microgravity and if Bernoulli’s Principle holds true.
  • If Bernoulli’s Principle holds true in outer space, then fluids are also incompressible in microgravity.

The team was recognized as part of a virtual ceremony on Jan. 21.