Cypress Woods HS students help design tape dispenser aboard ISS

April 5, 2021

Cypress Woods High School 2020 graduates Andy Le, left, and Nikolas Luangrath, right, helped redesign parts of a tape dispenser that is now on board the International Space Station. Cypress Woods High School 2020 graduates Andy Le, left, and Nikolas Luangrath, right, helped redesign parts of a tape dispenser that is now on board the International Space Station.

April 5, 2021—Cypress Woods High School 2020 graduates Andy Le and Nikolas Luangrath helped redesign parts of a tape dispenser that is now on board the International Space Station (ISS). The project was part of a NASA High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) project. 

NASA HUNCH allows high school students to build and design equipment through project-based learning projects. Those projects are then used by NASA for training and in space. Students work on projects in teams and the NASA HUNCH program has more than 270 teams working on projects in more than 40 states across the country.

The tape dispenser that Le and Luangrath worked on was already installed on the ISS but was not working properly due to design flaws. NASA HUNCH engineers asked Le and Luangrath to come up with design solutions that would fix the problems. The team redesigned the “chin” of the dispenser where the tape blade is placed, the blade itself and created tabs that help astronauts replace the tape when it runs out.

Le and Luangrath redesigned the “chin” of the dispenser where the tape blade is placed (the cream-colored parts in the picture), the blade itself and created tabs that help astronauts replace tape when it runs out. Le and Luangrath redesigned the “chin” of the dispenser where the tape blade is placed (the cream-colored parts in the picture), the blade itself and created tabs that help astronauts replace tape when it runs out.

“It has been an exciting experience to work with NASA HUNCH at Cy Woods,” said Jarrall Ford, Cypress Woods industrial technology teacher. “It’s really wonderful that the students get to be in contact with real astronauts and engineers that give them feedback on real-world designs.”

More than 30 projects that Cypress Woods students have worked on in previous years are currently being used on the ISS, including the tape dispenser. Cypress Woods students are also currently working on two additional projects that are scheduled to be utilized on the ISS in November.

“It’s just a wonderful opportunity for the students,” Ford said. “These projects help our students understand real-world application and to know that our projects are being used in real-time is incredible.”

Watch a video of the tape dispenser in action aboard the ISS.

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