Students from Meridian Technology Center are working with NASA to solve how to administer IV fluids in a microgravity environment. They are trying to determine the right amount of equilibrium, or pressure, needed on the outside of a bag to safely deliver fluids or medication in space.
This program is part of the NASA HUNCH program, which empowers and inspires students through a Project Based Learning program where high school students learn 21st century skills and have the opportunity to launch their careers through the participation in the design and fabrication of real world valued products for NASA.
This project, which students picked for its challenge, is looking for a way to use IV fluids to keep astronauts hydrated on longer flights. Right now astronauts are limited to what they can physically consume. This project also can be used for medical emergencies on extended flights in the future.
The students have 3D printed a chamber the IV bag will be housed in, and they’ve come up with a way to use pressurized air within the chamber for the bag. The students are working to refine the process as liquid in space has higher surface tension and wants to stick to its surroundings.
As they work on the project, students are learning more than just skills in engineering. They are also learning to rely on using their collective knowledge and how to work together as a team. The three have had the opportunity to meet with NASA engineers to get input on their project, ask questions and gain insightful information to guide their path forward. The students will present their projects to staff and students at Meridian in December then, they will present them to NASA for the competition in March.