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Summer 2018 Newsletter: Space Quest

Taylee Anderson


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Space Quest 2018 Group Photo
Space Quest 2018 Group Photo

Space Quest, a one-week STEM-focused workshop, was the newest camp launched this summer. USU STARS! GEAR UP partnered with Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) to bring 24 students entering 10th grade to USU. With the help of Sara Richardson, Systems Engineer at SDL, engineering student Christian Morrill, and our staff, participants gained the skills to build and launch a CricketSat satellite.

On arrival, students were given a challenge: to measure atmospheric temperatures up to 5K into space while staying on the ground. Starting in the laboratory, students learned about atmosphere, electricity, and electronic circuits by building breadboards. Next, they gained basic soldering skills needed to build JiggyBots before customizing their creations for competition.

Students then applied what they learned, working in teams of three to build CricketSats for collecting data. With accurate calibration, these satellites were launched throughout Thursday, collecting data for each team. Compiled and analyzed data was used for group presentations. Students solicited reviews from mentors and peers, and made updates in preparation for their presentations.

“It was rewarding at the end of the week to watch the students who struggled with the lessons, circuits, and soldering, now beam with pride and confidence as they gave their final presentations in front of peers and professionals,” said Lauren Resendes, Assistant Program Coordinator USU STARS! GEAR UP.

Students praised Space Quest, saying that they learned more in this one week of camp than in any other class that they have taken. Others said seeing how this camp worked made them want to run their own business.

“The best part is watching the students succeed in something they didn’t think they could before, and learning how to approach future challenges with new confidence,” said Recendes. At the closing ceremony, each student was awarded a certificate of achievement in front of an audience of their peers and invited guests. They left camp with new friends, and successfully launched experiments.