Chaminade Wins NASA TechRise Student Challenge

Chaminade Wins NASA TechRise Student Challenge

Chaminade High School is proud to announce that it has been selected as one of the winners of NASA's TechRise Student Challenge, one of the most selective student science competitions in the country. Sophomore Antonio Savastano spearheaded the project and led the winning team.

The project focused on creating an infrared sensor to measure the intensity of the flame of a rocket. The sensor then uses a mathematical equation to see how much fuel is remaining in the rocket. 

"When I first met Antonio at Chaminade, he showed interest in NASA," said Dr. Karen Kuntz, co-director of Chaminade's science center. "I always knew he wanted to be an astronaut." 

Antonio always showed interest in and asked Dr. Kuntz to pursue projects about space, so she recommended the NASA challenge to him. Antonio took it from there and proposed the project to his classmates. 

"Chaminade High School is excited to be a part of the NASA TechRise competition," said Principal Bro. Joseph Bellizzi, S.M. "Our Dolan Family Science, Technology, and Research Center gives students the platform to experiment and learn more about the world of science. Congratulations to all of this year's winners." 

"We are very proud of Antonio's accomplishments," continued Dr. Kuntz. "He is one of the leading space experts in our program. I am really impressed with his progress so far, and I look forward to working with him over the next few years." 

Over the next few months, Antonio and his team will meet weekly with NASA TechRise engineer mentors to continue to build out his project. The sensor will launch on a NASA-sponsored rocket this summer. 


The NASA TechRise Student Challenge invites teams of sixth- to 12th-grade students to design, build, and launch science and technology experiments on a high-altitude balloon flight and rocket-powered lander during the 2023-2024 school year. NASA encourages public, private, and charter school students in all U.S. states and territories to form a team, brainstorm an experiment. The winning teams each receive $1,500 to build their payloads and are awarded an assigned spot on a NASA-sponsored commercial flight. Winning teams also receive technical support during the experiment build phase from Future Engineers advisors, who will help students learn the skills they need to turn their experiment idea into reality. The challenge offers hands-on insight into the design and test process used by NASA-supported researchers. It aims to inspire a deeper understanding of Earth’s atmosphere, surface features, and climate; space exploration; coding; electronics; and the value of test data.

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