Mission Possible - First Step
“Mission Possible” Program
Weather Balloon Launch
St. Thomas More Cathedral School (STM) took its first step in the Mission Possible Project – STM-1 -- by launching the weather balloon or Surveillance Aerosat. Digital Desgins assisted with the launch today, May 22, 2013 at 9am in the school’s parking lot. Student Mission Specialists will conduct a series of high altitude tests of their CubeSat. The mission was four fold: that the CubeSat will be lifted to an altitude of approximately 300 feet by the weather balloon; the CubeSat will operate under its own power; the telemetry and command link be established and verified which is the communication between the satellite and ground station; and the onboard cameras -- both the Earth Observation Camera and the Asteroid Location Camera -- will take test images.
Mission Possible - Satellite Program
On April 17, 2013, St. Thomas More Cathedral School will kick off—Mission Possible. STM’s goal is to be the first K—8 program in the United States to have a student-built satellite launched into orbit by 2014. Reverend Robert Rippy, Rector of the Cathedral of St. Thomas More, stated, ”It is a blessing to have our students rooted in faith as they explore new frontiers.” Eleanor McCormack, Principal, declared “It is an honor and a thrill to provide the students of St. Thomas More Cathedral School with such an awe-inspiring opportunity.”
With the assistance of STM Computer Teacher, Melissa Pore, and STM parent and NASA Mission Manager, Joe Pellegrino, STM students will help build a CubeSat satellite and then use the data the satellite collects for school research purposes. CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The cube-shaped satellites are approximately four inches long, have a volume of about one quart and weigh about 3 pounds.
“As teachers, we have to take risks to meet the academic needs of today's students. We need to provide opportunities for them to discover and apply learning to real world scenarios. Students are able to formulate their own ideas and conclusions through teacher-guided activities and make them the leaders of their own learning experience. We will build tomorrow's leaders by working hard today. Our future is in their hands,” stated Melissa Pore, STM Computer Teacher and Mission Manager.
"It was a teacher who sparked my interest in engineering when I was in grade school which led to rewarding career in the space industry. I hope to do the same with this CubeSat mission. For me, mission success is when a child turns to his / her parents and says ‘I want to become an engineer or scientist’” expressed Joe Pellegrino, NASA Mission Manager and STM Parent.
"This is the kind of venture that inspires kids to make a career out of science," asserted Stephen Rozzi, STM parent and Spacecraft Manager.
STM is the first K-8 program to offer this exciting opportunity. Students, through hands-on work, will develop skills and experience used in the aerospace industry. The CubeSat program creates important educational opportunities for our future leaders.
STEM is an educational initiative that focuses on the coordination of science, technology, engineering, and math in classroom lessons. The STM faculty is coordinating the STEM philosophy with the curriculum guidelines of the Diocese of Arlington to provide students with an authentic educational opportunity. According to STM’s Assistant Principal, Marie Scheessele, “We are examining all curriculum guidelines including language arts, religion and fine arts to integrate STEM easily into a student’s daily educational experience.”
STM received its first donation of $10,000.00 from ATK Space Systems to assist in the building and launching of this project. ATK Space Systems is a strong supporter of STEM initiatives in K-12 schools focusing on inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering.
Race For Education
Race for Education
STM Race for Education - May 1, 2013
St. Thomas More Cathedral School participates in the Race for Education (RFE). RFE is an annual jog-a-thon, which involves students "of all ages" walking or jogging around a designated area for one hour. STM Race for Education programs have been conducted for the last five years
The success of Race for Education is based on students bringing in the names of people who are potential sponsors for the jog-a-thon. However, there is no "house-to-house" sign-up of potential sponsors. It is all done by filling in a label sheet of names.
Potential sponsors may be family members, relatives, close friends, and neighbors. Special emphasis should be placed on out-of-state sponsors. Also, the people you do business with are a great source of names (e.g., barber, dentist, doctor, piano teacher, etc).
"Kick-off" information about Race for Education will be sent home with each student in advance of the jog-a-thon. There are incentives and prizes to help promote the success of Race for Education. Unlike most fundraisers, however, the prizes are great motivators at a minimal cost(e.g., Snack Cards, Treasure Box Prize Cards, Dress Down Day Cards, Hat Day Cards, School Store Coupons, Homework Passes, Computer Passes, Class Parties, Ribbons, etc.).