LCPS Middle School Students Code Solutions for NASA


Coding at Middle School (CAMS) students from two LCPS  middle schools have teamed up to create an app for NASA’s Deep Space Mission.


Students at Blue Ridge Middle School in Purcellville and J. L. Simpson Middle School in Leesburg participated in NASA’s App Development Challenge (ADC) led by the Johnson Space Center’s Office of STEM Engagement. NASA’s App Development Challenge is a coding challenge as part of the agency’s Next Gen STEM Project, through which NASA presents technical problems to middle and high school students seeking student contributions to future exploration missions. 


By responding to the App Development Challenge, students take a part directly in the Artemis Generation endeavors to land American astronauts on the Moon by 2024, including the first woman and the next man. In this ADC, students worked to develop an app that visualizes the South Pole region of the Moon and displays essential information for navigation and communication.


Angela Fraser, the CAMS teacher at the participating  LCPS middle schools, organized creation of the app with assistance from Dr. Patrick White, the lab director at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.  Fraser’s students, “Team Moon Landing,” used teamwork, collaboration and programming skills during a seven-week period to create and submit their app designs for consideration by NASA.  “Projects that allow collaboration between schools and directly apply course standards in real-world application exactly defines our division’s project-based initiative,” said Blue Ridge Principal Brion Bell. “I am so impressed with the work of these students, their teacher, and our consultant, Dr. White.“


“We believe students should have an empowering education with exceptional experiences,” added Simpson Principal Lenny Compton. “A project like this with the depth of understanding, collaboration and application will have an indelible impact in our students’ belief about how they can continue to impact the world, and beyond.”


Teams with favorable submissions advance to present their app in an interview with engineers and scientists working with NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (ScaN) team. SCaN provides communications services that are essential to the operations of NASA's space flight missions.  After interviews, NASA will select the Top Team(s) for a virtual culminating event experience in February 2021.





Published December 28, 2020