Springboro WCCC satellite family and consumer science students are national finalists for the NASA Culinary HUNCH challenge in April in Houston, Texas. Students had to create a fruit or vegetable side dish that would adapt in a microgravity environment while adhering to specific nutritional guidelines. Contributed photo

Warren County CC satellite students take on out-of-this-world project

Career technical education provides students opportunities to learn skills and earn certifications and college credit as they focus on their future.

The Warren County Career Center in Lebanon offers more than 20 career programs for high school juniors and seniors, and satellite programming at Franklin, Kings, Lebanon, Little Miami, Springboro and Waynesville junior high and high schools, and at Bishop Fenwick High School.

These STEM-focused educational opportunities enhance students’ college, career and life visions through project-based learning environments. WCCC offers satellite programs in business, digital media arts, family and consumer sciences, information technology, “Project Lead the Way” engineering, PLTW biomedical, and “Teacher Academy.”

Springboro WCCC satellite family and consumer science students Michael Sander, Catherine Postner, Eric Maurer, Anna Lewis, Kaitlyn Bush and Jordan Scheper took skills learned in their cooking lessons to a level that could be out of this world. The students are national finalists for the NASA Culinary HUNCH challenge in April in Houston, Texas. Students had to create a fruit or vegetable side dish that would adapt in a microgravity environment while adhering to specific nutritional guidelines.

Their “Astrotots” recipe is a Cajun-infused, roasted sweet potato and apple side dish. The students’ entry will be one of the choices for astronauts in the International Space Station to select as part of their meal rotation.

The NASA HUNCH (High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware) mission is to empower and inspire students through a project-based learning program where high school students learn 21st-century skills and have the opportunity to launch their career through the participation in the design and fabrication of real-world valued products for NASA.

“I am proud of my students and how they are making an imprint on the future through their work with NASA,” instructor Kim Harris said. “I have the utmost confidence that they will represent Springboro High School, Warren County Career Center and the state of Ohio exceptionally well.”

Want to try it? Here’s the recipe:

Astrotots

Yield 6 servings, approx. 152 calories, 4.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 3.6 g dietary fiber, 47 g sodium per serving

Ingredients

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1.5 green apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1.5-inch pieces

1 Tbsp honey

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 Tbsp olive oil

4 Tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place sweet potatoes and apples in mixing bowl, combine next 6 ingredients and mix in thoroughly. Place all ingredients in a ziplock bag to evenly coat. Spread mixture on a large baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes until roasted, crispy and brown. Sprinkle brown sugar over potato mixture and roast for an additional 3 minutes. Serve.

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