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Lindsay Crouch
(Phone: (757) 864-3189, (757) 870-6912, mobile)
RELEASE : 06-004
Building and Breaking Composite Wings With NASA Mentors

On Friday, Jan. 20, NASA Langley Research Center engineers will be standing by as Virginia Beach high school students work to break composite wings they've spent weeks designing and building.

The tips that these students have learned at NASA Langley's model shop will impact this wing test ... and their final course grade.

Students from the Math and Science Academy at Ocean Lakes High School's Materials Science Class have been studying composite materials and wing design. To conclude the course, they have been tasked to build a lightweight, but strong, composite wing. This has provided a real-world spin to their theoretical class discussions over the past semester.

Media are invited to attend the students' wing test from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 20 at NASA Langley. For more information and access onto Langley, please contact Lindsay Crouch at 757-864-3189 by 9 a.m. Jan. 20.

In December 2005, the students visited NASA Langley's model shop to pick up some pointers from technicians and engineers for their project. The students will return to Langley Friday to test their wings to the breaking point, with the goal of having a wing that can withstand the highest pressure before actually breaking. Engineers and model shop technicians have acted as mentors in this project and will be present for their tests.

This composite-building project was modeled after an annual contest sponsored by the Society for the Advancement of Material and Processing Engineering (SAMPE). Contest criteria were applied to the Ocean Lakes students' tests.

This project will not only demonstrate composite structure designs, but will be another prime example of the newly-established partnership between NASA Langley and Virginia Beach City Public Schools. The partners signed an official Space Act Agreement in summer 2005.

For more information on research and exploration at NASA, visit:


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