Students from Vinemont High InSPIRESS team travel to Washington, D.C.


Vinemont High School’s Abby Sikes, left, and Derrick Ransom at NASA headquarters in July. (courtesy photo)

VINEMONT – Back in December, Vinemont High School’s InSPIRESS team won its division in the InSPIRESS Competition at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). July 21-26, two members of that team (Team I.C.E.), Abby Sikes and Derrick Ransom, traveled to Washington D.C. to promote their winning design at NASA headquarters.

“The mission this year was to design a payload that would go to the moon and investigate properties that would allow humans to be able to live there,” said Vinemont’s InSPIRESS sponsor, Shannon Bridges, in an email to The Tribune.

“Team I.C.E.'s mission objective is to search for water-ice in permanently shadowed craters on the south pole of the moon. The team will be measuring pressure, temperature and composition of the moon's surface to find water-ice so we can one day colonize the moon,” said Bridges.

While in Washington D.C., winning teams visited monuments, the U.S. Capitol, NASA headquarters and the White House. This trip and the InSPIRESS competition are funded by the Planetary Missions Program Office, which is located at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

The Innovative System Project for the Increased Recruitment of Emerging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Students (InSPIRESS) is an outreach project that provides the opportunity for high school students to develop and design a scientific payload to be accommodated on a spacecraft which is designed by undergraduate students in the UAHuntsville IPT project.  High school students collaborate with the undergraduate engineering students to understand the engineering requirements, the design process, and the role a customer plays in design.  InSPIRESS teams compete for selection by the undergraduate engineering teams. (

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