Information session highlights: The challenge team covers key questions

On September 1, the CTE Mission: CubeSat team hosted a virtual information session to provide an overview of the challenge and answer questions from interested students and teachers. Following opening remarks, U.S. Department of Education Program Specialist Albert Palacios explored how CubeSats (cube satellites) can be used as a tool for education.

Watch the session recording and read on for a summary of the Q&A from the live event.

Expanding career and technical education (CTE) opportunities by bringing space missions to students

As missions in space continue to expand, so do the career opportunities. This multiphase challenge offers high school students across the United States the chance to build CubeSat prototypes while learning creative, collaborative, and technical skills.

“We wanted to expose more students to these technologies and the capability of getting into space careers through career and technical education. And we wanted to build that creative confidence and technical empowerment, so that students would begin to see themselves in the space industry.”
Albert Palacios, U.S. Department of Education Program Specialist

Using CubeSat prototypes to create firsthand learning opportunities

Prototypes are built to the same dimensions and approximately the same weight as a CubeSat, and are more accessible for students to build and launch. CTE Mission: CubeSat provides students and teachers with curated resources for using CubeSats in engaging learning experiences.

“This challenge is open to all levels of expertise and knowledge as it relates to CubeSats. It’s a great opportunity to enter into space exploration and space technologies in a way that can be done in your local community.”
Albert Palacios, U.S. Department of Education Program Specialist

Answers to top questions

Attendees had the chance to ask questions during the live information session. See top questions and answers below and review the full summary of questions and answers.

Who can participate in the challenge? 
The challenge is open to high schools eligible to receive funding under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 as amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) — schools do not need to be receiving funding currently, but must be eligible to receive Perkins V funding. The challenge is only open to high schools in the United States (read more about eligibility), though any interested school may view and access the open resources available on the resource hub, or join an eligible school’s team.

What experience and skills should students have with aerospace and CubeSats leading into the project? 
No prior experience with CubeSats is necessary to participate in the challenge. Prior experience with certain technical skills (such as experience with coding, electronics, project management, or various engineering skills) can be helpful to have on a team; however, the challenge is open to all levels and will provide additional resources and mentorship  from subject matter experts during Phase 2 to help teams learn by doing.

Are there any material requirements or costs to participating in the challenge?
No materials are required to develop a mission proposal; however, teams may choose to tinker with low-cost instruments and materials, such as computer boards, lightweight cameras, or balloon kits, to help determine what to study and how to fly their missions.

Enter the national challenge by October 16

Form a team and submit a mission proposal by 5:59 p.m. ET on October 16 to enter CTE Mission: CubeSat — no in-person collaboration or prior experience with CubeSats is required.

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