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District Wins Grant to Build CubeSat

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District students are sharpening their skills in space engineering this summer by designing a prototype and utilizing a three-dimensional printer to construct a CubeSat that will carry an experiment NASA will launch into outer space. This project became a reality when the district was awarded the prestigious NASA/New York Space grant. Freeport is the third public school district in New York State to win this grant and the first school district on Long Island.

“The CubeSat is a nanosatellite that is being built exclusively by Freeport students and will carry an experiment that will go into space with the help of a rocket,” said Dr. Vincent Pereira, director of science. “We are currently working with the students in making the CubeSat and designing it so that it can perform the required experiments in space.”

This coordinated team effort through the science, math and technology departments will allow students in grades 4-12 a once-in-a-lifetime STEM experience. The district will also be collaborating with professor Mason Peck of Cornell University.

Students have designed their own prototypes of the CubeSat and used three-dimensional technology to print out the pieces. They are now in the process of building its structure. Once this development stage is complete and the results are shared with NASA, a final CubeSat containing sensors will be sent into outer space by NASA. These sensors will accurately predict the altitude of the CubeSat and will allow students to calculate its total energy. 

“We are pleased to offer this amazing unique opportunity for our students,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham said.  “We hope this inspires an interest in our students to move toward math, science, engineering and technology fields in the future.”