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In July 2023, a team of JASON Argonauts embarked on this year’s final Argonaut Expedition, “Design Thinking, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship.” This journey took the Argonauts to Houston, TX – a hub of technology, design, and innovation. Over the course of six days, the Argonauts witnessed firsthand how STEM professionals harnessed design thinking and entrepreneurial concepts to tackle real-world challenges and shape the future. 

The Argonauts kicked off their Houston adventure with a site visit to South Post Oak Recycling Center where they met Brandi Harleaux and her team and learned all about the metal recycling industry. Then, they went to TXRX Labs, a renowned makerspace and innovation hub. Here, they engaged in a hands-on soldering workshop and delved into the world of welding. 

Continuing their exploration, the team visited Moonflower Farms, a hydroponic farm. The Argonauts learned about our food systems and how Moonflower Farms uses space age technology to become more sustainable. The Argonauts then went to have lunch at the Lunar and Planetary Institute and received wonderful tips on their presentations.

No trip to Houston would be complete without a visit to the awe-inspiring NASA‘s Neutral Buoyancy Lab and the Johnson Space Center. Here, the Argonauts were immersed in a simulated space environment, witnessing astronauts training underwater to prepare for EVA missions. They gained a profound understanding of the intricacies involved in space exploration and the application of design thinking principles to overcome complex challenges beyond our planet’s boundaries.

The full team of Argonauts at the Johnson Space Center

The Argonauts presented their design thinking projects at the prestigious University of Houston-Clear Lake. Before a distinguished audience, they showcased their innovative ideas and received valuable feedback from experts in the field. This experience not only nurtured their entrepreneurial spirit but also highlighted the importance of collaboration, adaptability, and resilience in transforming ideas into impactful solutions.

To wrap up the incredible expedition, the Argonauts embarked on a captivating boat tour along the Houston Ship Channel. As one of the busiest waterways in the United States, this iconic channel plays a crucial role in the region’s economy. The Argonauts marveled at the massive vessels navigating the channel, witnessing the seamless integration of engineering, logistics, and innovation required to sustain this vital artery of commerce. Pictured is Jude and Argonaut Alum, Stephanie Clark-Brooks, on the Sam Houston Boat Tour

The “Design Thinking, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship” Argonaut Expedition to Houston, TX was a transformative experience for the student and teacher Argos. Immersed in the heart of technology, design, and innovation, they witnessed firsthand how STEM professionals utilize design thinking and entrepreneurial concepts to shape the world around us. From engaging workshops to captivating tours, this expedition ignited their passion for creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration. As the Argonauts bid farewell to this extraordinary adventure, they carry with them a newfound understanding of the power of design thinking and the limitless potential of innovation in shaping a better future.

JASON Learning extends heartfelt gratitude to the Argonaut Alumni, especially Dr. Carol Waters, for their invaluable contributions in making this final expedition a resounding success. Their expertise, mentorship, and unwavering support have provided a platform for young minds to explore, learn, and grow. Thank you!