A SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH FOR SATELLITE CLUB!
Tillicum Middle School set out on a new adventure this year with the introduction of Satellite Club. We joined Tyee and Highland Middle Schools, whIch have been launching satellites to near space for the last two years. The club met every Monday, starting in September, to learn about programming, circuit building, satellite design and scientific inquiry. We started officially building our satellites right after winter break, when we began meeting for 2 hours each Monday.
With a lot of hard work, re-soldering our circuits numerous times, and a couple of Saturday build dates, we hit our launch date! We joined Tyee and Highland and had a successful launch Saturday morning, March 29th, in Ellensburg. A total of 3 weather balloons took the satellites aloft. The launch occurred around 9:00am that morning with a round of screams, yells and hugs. The subsequent tracking took the crew on an across-the-state journey to the small farming town of Odessa, WA. All three balloons landed in a radius of approximately 5 miles, so the group was split and the hunt ensued. After a couple hours all the balloons were found and there was only one casualty (unfortunate it was a Tillicum satellite) The flight time was close to 90 minutes and the balloons reached altitudes between 78000 to 90000 feet. After a quick lunch back in Odessa we hit the road back home. In a 24 hour period the three schools launched 21 satellites, traveled over 450 miles (adults had a few cups of coffee) and all had the experience of a lifetime!
When we return from spring break we will dive into the satellites to retrieve the Data / Pictures and debrief the process with the students. Mr. Hunsberger, Ms. Trahan and Ms. Williams thank all the parents who volunteered their time so that this was a successful event. We’d also like to thank the Tillicum PTSA and ASB for financially supporting our efforts. We learned a lot of engineering design and process and we can’t wait to put our new knowledge to the test next year with the Tillicum Satellite club.