Source: WVLT TV | Anne Brock | January 19, 2-18

Students at Robertsville Middle School in Oak Ridge are awaiting word from NASA on acceptance of their proposal to launch a satellite into space. Todd Livesay’s class wants to use the satellite to monitor the regrowth of forests in Sevier County following the 2016 wildfires.

“It’s like a prototype of what’s gonna happen when the CubeSat actually gets deployed,” said eighth grader Maria Cacheiro about the plastic cubes she and her classmates have been creating in their classroom. They have access to multiple 3D printing devices for making the mini satellite devices.

The class has turned in to NASA a lengthy proposal, with help from mentors at nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12, explaining how it would create a small satellite to accomplish its mission. The school is expecting word in February on whether or not NASA will allow its project as part of NASA’s payload to the International Space Station.

STEM teacher Todd Livesay at Robertsville Middle School said,
“If we’ve been accepted into the program, we have two years to actually build the satellite and deliver it to NASA, then they will put it into space.”

Once in orbit, the device would send back data to a ground station located at the school.

Some students in the science class said they have hopes of becoming scientists or engineers someday, perhaps even working for NASA. Others do not. Their instructor said he hopes they are all learning valuable life lessons.

“I hope that they’re learning to not be afraid to try,” Livesay said. “To just give it your best shot. To show up. And to try every day and make progress.”

You can find the report on the NASA website.