With the U.S. facing a shortfall of 3 million skilled workers in STEM-related fields by 2018, there’s no time like the present to get today’s youth excited and inspired about becoming the next generation of scientists. The Quest Institute recently partnered with Microsoft to do just that through a new project that takes the Internet of Things (IoT) to the final frontier—space.
In a post on the Windows Experience blog, Quest Institute Director of Innovation Danny Kim explains how Windows 10 IoT enabled Quest Institute to build a new experiment platform for the International Space Station (ISS), allowing students of all ages to participate in experiments aboard the ISS. The project not only coordinates and manages multiple student experiments off one platform, it also connects to servers on Earth to transfer data to and from the ISS. This has made space science experiments more affordable and accessible to more students, potentially making it easier for them to learn and become inspired to pursue a STEM career.
This project also helped Quest Institute to solve one of engineering’s most difficult problems with space: to make a scalable science platform that can withstand the harshness of space. The joint initiative to create this “NextGen” ISS brought about new innovations through Windows 10 IoT to handle fault tolerance, which culminated in the first flight of this new platform. In fact, in October Quest’s NextGen ISS experiment platform flew aboard the Antares OA5 Mission rocket and its astronauts successfully connected to the experiment platform.