IRVINE CUBESAT STEM PROGRAM

University High School students, from left, Miles Huntley-Fenner, 16, Yarin Heffes, 15, Steven Li, 15, and Kento Zollinger, 14, examine a 3-D printed frame of at miniature cube satellite they made in class. Irvine high school students are teaming up to build a miniature satellite, called a CubeSat. The project is the brainchild of two Irvine dads, who have gotten the support of two scientists from NASA/JPL who are providing advice and assistance in their free time, local tech and communications firms, and $150,000 in seed money from Irvine Public Schools Foundation. 



///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: satellite2.0317 Ð 3/14/16 Ð LEONARD ORTIZ, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER - _DSC5060.NEF - Students at each of Irvine's high schools are teaming up to build and launch a miniature satellite, called a CubeSat, a year from now. Once in flight, the satellite's mission is to take pictures of the moon. The project is the brainchild of two Irvine dads, who have gotten the support of two scientists from NASA/JPL who are providing advice and assistance in their free time, local tech and communications firms, and $150,000 in seed money from Irvine Public Schools Foundation. Tinh Tran is the teacher leading the students from University High.

Project Overview

IPSF is proud to be the official funding partner of the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program. The program provides hands-on STEM experience to foster interest in advanced technologies and meet the rising demand for a highly-qualified work force in growing STEM-related industries. Irvine CubeSat also has an eye on creating opportunities for underrepresented groups in STEM-related fields, including women and minorities.

The Irvine CubeSat STEM Program (ICSP) is a joint educational endeavor to teach, train and inspire the next generation of STEM professionals. It is comprised of students from six different high schools in the City of Irvine whose main objective is to assemble, test and launch a nano-satellite into low Earth orbit. By working on this project, students develop and practice STEM skills in technical documentation and communication, project management, hardware and software, mechanical and electrical subsystems, programming, radio and optical communications, and data analysis. Students are selected by a competitive application process including completing documentation and participating in an in-person interview. Students agree to a year-long commitment in order to complete the mission.

Student teams work after school to reach a series of milestones scheduled to keep them on track. An Industry Speaker Series provides students with expert insight into space, technology and STEM, enhancing their understanding of real world application of the skills they are learning. Other events include field trips for testing and a design review, both intended to deepen student understanding and learning through hands-on experience.

Irvine CubeSat

Student Impact

Irvine CubeSat represents an incredible opportunity for over 150 diverse students to come together and gain advanced hands-on STEM experience with an emphasis on space. Students not only assemble a CubeSat, but they also participate in a professional team environment that challenges them to receive and process technical training in their team’s area of emphasis, collaborate with manufacturers to acquire components, and even participate in professional panel reviews of their work from experts such as JPL personnel.

Once the CubeSat is successfully launched, schools will engage in a variety of orbital maneuvers and experiments, including operating the CubeSat to position the antennae, solar panels and camera for optimal operation. The CubeSat will also collect data that students can practice evaluating and share for further study.

Partner colleges and universities are supporting the program, because they view it as a training ground for the next generation of great minds in space science. Beyond high school, participants will be uniquely positioned to pursue post-secondary education in a variety of science and space-related disciplines.

A model of the CubeSat satellite that is similar to the miniature satellite that University High students are building with other Irvine schools. 


///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: satellite2.0317 Ð 3/14/16 Ð LEONARD ORTIZ, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER - _DSC4991.NEF - Students at each of Irvine's high schools are teaming up to build and launch a miniature satellite, called a CubeSat, a year from now. Once in flight, the satellite's mission is to take pictures of the moon. The project is the brainchild of two Irvine dads, who have gotten the support of two scientists from NASA/JPL who are providing advice and assistance in their free time, local tech and communications firms, and $150,000 in seed money from Irvine Public Schools Foundation. Tinh Tran is the teacher leading the students from University High.

Irvine CubeSat STEM Program Donation Form

Through the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program, students are receiving a full 360 degree view of life in a STEM field, including technical experience gained through assembly, testing and launch of their nano-satellite, as well as invaluable soft skills such as communication, problem solving, and teamwork. But we need your help to ensure this program isn’t lost in space. A gift of any amount makes an impact in ensuring this program continues, so more students can continue to have this incredible opportunity.