NASA Hunch Program

Students and Teachers from the Northeast Recognized for Assisting Astronauts – Posted 5/15/17

NASA Hunch


More than 300 teenagers, teachers, parents and other guests visited County College of Morris (CCM) on Saturday, May 13, as part of a NASA recognition program for high school students who worked on projects for the International Space Station.

The ceremony for schools from the Northeast marked the 14th anniversary of High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) program. As HUNCH participants, the students worked on projects ranging from the development of a UV wand to help eliminate bacteria on the spacecraft to the creation of a dessert for the astronauts.

Included among the participants were more than 20 Morris County School of Technology students enrolled in the Engineering Design and Advanced Manufacturing (EDAM) program at CCM. Those students worked on parts for a storage locker that was sent to the International Space Station and a toilet paper dispenser. Also in attendance were students from 10 other high schools located in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.

Attending the ceremony as a special guest was Astronaut Clayton Anderson. Speaking to the students, Anderson encouraged them to dream big and persevere, noting that he applied to NASA 15 times to become an astronaut.

“All people who dream are going to go on and do something great in life,” said Anderson.

Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, CCM’s president, encouraged the students to continue their good work.

“You are among the very few to have this kind of experience,” he noted. “Continue to be inspired and do great things in your life.”

“It is a great experience,” said Nate Petricca, a CCM EDAM student. “I watch NASA programs on TV, but I never thought I’d be making stuff for space.”

Also attending the ceremony were Florence Gold, HUNCH implementation manager, and Stacy Hale, who founded the HUNCH program in 2003. Fourteen years later, HUNCH is now in 90 schools in 29 states.

To view a Facebook gallery of photos from the ceremony, go to

For additional information on the EDAM program, call the Morris County School of Technology at 973-627-4600 ext. 277. For more information on the engineering programs at CCM, visit


Students enrolled in the NASA HUNCH program at County College of Morris receive their certificates for creating equipment for the International Space Station. Pictured on the screen behind them is the storage locker they constructed parts for that is now housed at the space station.

Astronaut Clayton Anderson talks with students enrolled in the NASA HUNCH program at County College of Morris about the toilet paper dispenser they designed for the International Space Station.

Credit: Shelley Kusnetz Photography