What aspects of the build and design process did you begin with when starting Phase 2 and how has your mission changed since your original submission?
We began with 3D printing the structure because it is the only part of the project for which we had the materials and a design ready. The students involved with designing the structure are already proficient with the software and very comfortable with 3D printing. During this process, our 3D printers have needed maintenance; they are currently down. Printing the structure gave the engineering team something to physically look at as they tried to envision where the components would go and how those components would fit inside the cube.
Because we had already organized into teams to write the proposal, we have met every two weeks with the teams to check in, see what action items teams are working on, and where teams need support.
The mission has changed very little from the proposal. There are details that will be worked out as we research and formulate plans for data collection and launch.
Can you tell us about your team, including: who is on it, the roles everyone plays, the connection to CTE, and mentors you have engaged?
The team is comprised of eight students from the NAF Engineering Academy and two additional upperclassman engineering students. Faculty advisors include:
- CTE Teacher/Team advisor: Renee Parkman (NAF Engineering Academy teacher)
- CTE Coordinator and Financier: Julie Blocker (NAF coordinator)
- Math Teacher/Data Team advisor: Ben Estes
- English Teacher: Melissa Ligh (NAF Engineering Academy teacher)
- Science Teacher: Lindsay Smith
Engineering Team: Khadeejah, Isabella, and Drina (10th grade NAF Engineering Academy) are responsible for assembling the computer components into a flight station (the CubeSat), programming the components, assembling the ground station, testing, and gathering data.
Cube Structure: Tristan and Jonas (engineering students who have taken Drafting Engineering Level 3) designed the CubeSat structure and worked to make adjustments to the prototype, along with our community mentor CRP USA.
Science/Data Team: Joseph and Kamryn (10th grade NAF Engineering Academy students) are working on developing a sampling plan for the Mooresville area to find suitable sites for collecting data. They collaborate with the Town of Mooresville. These students will also work with Mr. Estes to convert the data into a usable format to post on our Google Site.
Community Outreach: JonVincent and Caleb (10th grade NAF Engineering Academy students) are building our Google Site to document our journey during Phase 2.
Launch Team: Clark, Caleb, Joseph (10th grade NAF Engineering Academy students) are working on procuring a drone through unmanned vehicle technologies (UVT) to launch our CubeSat.
What have you learned so far? What early successes have you encountered while designing and building your prototype? What challenges?
Our early success this month has been the CubeSat design. So far, we have run into some obstacles: having our 3D printers go down (requiring the scheduling of repairs), waiting for components to ship, and then waiting again to get additional chips.
Khadeejah, Isabella, and Drina participated in an XinaBox webinar on February 23 and researched putting the components together and programming them. Joseph and Kamryn have sent out community surveys to find out what environmental concerns the community values and where to find sites that represent them. They are working with our local Town of Mooresville engineers and learning the process of land development. Clark, Joseph, and Caleb have researched payload capacities and capabilities of drones. They have also learned to work with vendors to find the best drone for our application. Jonas and Tristan have been in communication with engineers from CRP USA to review our team’s CubeSat designs and get feedback for improvement on the application.