Maine high school students unveil 3D Smart Rocket Program

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 5:03 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - 34 Maine high school students have changed the heights of educational programs focusing on space.

The Maine Space Grant Consortium, Educate Maine and MaxIQ Space have all collaborated to create more space focused programs across the state.

The Challenger Learning Center in Bangor conducted a first of its kind event to increase the aerospace industry in Maine.

“This project was actually focused on Northern Maine, and we worked with Senator Susan Collins office to get a congressional directed spending award,” said Emily Dwinnells, program manager for Maine Space Complex. “Part of this module through MaxIQ was to give the students chip sets. Their chips can be programmed with a software language, and you can run a variety of different experiments.”

Students from Machias, Farmington and Augusta decided to test an air balloon to see how far it can go and collect data from the experiment.

“We take the data from the thing which we launched in the sky, so it basically takes all of this data like temperature, pressure and then you analyze the data that you have and then find the trends,” said Deepthi Nenavath, exchange student.

This project can predict what can be grown in certain climates, how architecture can be conducted and more.

One student from Mt. Blue High school said space has become one of his higher interests.

“It’s just fascinating,” said Trenton Beaudoin, Junior at Mt. Blue High School. “Space in general is just something that is infinite, and we don’t understand it 100% at all.”

One key factor that experts wanted students to know is that you don’t have to be an astronaut to work in space.

In fact, when it comes to working in space the sky is not the limit.

“You can be an electrician for a rocket company, you can be a plumber for a rocket company, or you can be a life scientist,” said Dwinnells.

That’s why expanding stem education across the state could contribute to the development of Maine’s future spaceport but most importantly expanding opportunities for the youth to learn about stem is the goal of the operation.

“Getting students into stem and believing that it’s an incredible future for them and an incredible future not only for them but in Maine,” said Dwinnells.