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Erie High School team a finalist in national engineering-design contest

A high school team from Erie High School in southeast Kansas is among five finalists in a national engineering design contest.

Lockheed Martin, NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace are sponsoring the contest, which is in its first year, to engage students in engineering and space exploration.

The design challenge presented in this year's contest was to mitigate the dangers of radiation for astronauts as they travel or spend long amounts of time in space.

According to a news release from the contest sponsors, the students were asked to design an experiment to protect a dosimeter, which is an instrument that measures radiation exposure.

The winner will be named at an event in April in Washington, D.C.

The winning team will have its designed device included aboard a test flight of the Orion, a vehicle being developed by Lockheed Martin for long-duration space exploration.

In addition to the team from Erie High School, finalists included teams from Illinois, Utah, Virginia and California.