GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (ABC 4) — The HUNCH program is a nationwide instructional program between NASA and high school students. This program allows high school students to build cost-effective hardware along with soft goods for the International Space Station and for the training of NASA astronauts and flight controllers.

Katie Bird and Devon Vanderwall, seniors at Allendale Public Schools and part of the Careerline Tech Center pastry arts and baking program, were selected as one of the 10 culinary challenge finalist teams to present their food to a panel of judges at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, back in April, through the NASA HUNCH program. 

Both Bird and Vanderwall were students in the CTC Culinary Arts program last year and worked on the HUNCH program for seven months after school with GRCC’s Secchia Institute of Culinary Education Program Director Werner Absenger, Ph.D. and Secchia instructor chef Jennifer Struik. 

To earn their spot in Houston, Bird and Vanderwall worked vigorously to perfect the taste of their Australian-style steak soup as well as perfect their research on how foods affect astronauts in low gravity. All recipes must meet NASA-specified nutritional requirements. They are selected by a panel consisting of 20 judges. The winning team will prepare a meal that will be sent into space for astronauts conducting research. 

“Thanks to this relationship we were able to give students the chance to participate in this amazing opportunity when GRCC reached out looking for high school students,” said Austin Gresham, pasty arts and baking instructor for Careerline Tech Center.

You can read the full article on Ottawa Area ISD’s website here.    

Sponsored By Doing More. Together.