7 reasons an Independent School should start a PocketQube Satellite today!
August 01 2014
Building a satellite seems pretty far out there, right? Well actually its gaining popularity amongst mainstream tertiary level Universities and Colleges on every continent. The costs have dropped dramatically due to standardisation and shrinking spacecraft sizes. A 1p PocketQube is 5cm cubed, which isn’t an awful lot of real estate to play with, but computing power has been growing at a near exponential rate as predicted by Moore's law. This means small satellites can do many tasks that it would have previously taken a much larger satellite to achieve.
1. It’s achievable
High Schoolers have build satellites which are now orbit Earth! This has been done, albeit the concept is very new. The first High School Satellite was called TJ3Sat and was designed and built by an American University called Thomas Jefferson High. With the backing of Orbital Sciences Corporation and a free launch on the NASA Elana Cubesat program, there 1kg Cubesat made Orbit on the 19th of November 2013.
2. STEM Benefits
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) are one of the most important areas to develop economic growth. Yet all over the world there are a shortage of workers with these valuable skills. The challenge is to get Student’s passionate about subjects which are not easy, but a incredibly valuable to society as a whole.
Satellites get students enthusiastic! The idea that they could build something that will orbit the Earth and that they could add real value too, will ultimately mean more students leaving for Universities and Colleges in the STEM arenas.
3. Student Benefits
There are multiple student benefits including learning about physics, maths and teamworking. But in our opinion having the fact that you have built a satellite and can put that on your application form to Stanford, MIT, Harvard or Oxford etc, will ultimately make any student standout from the crowd.
4. Increased Revenue to the School
Independent Private High Schools are businesses. They charge money for school fee’s and are essentially selling an educational service to students parents or guardians. They compete in an open market and therefore parent’s with the resources can be choosy about which school they choose. If you had the option of two comparable schools, one with a satellite program and one without, which one would you choose? The one building a satellite of course.
The cost of a PocketQube would typically be less than the salary of an additional teacher for a school year, but in reality probably much less. We estimate a PocketQube project could start from around $35k. This cost could be spread out over a number of school terms as the project develops.
If an average Independant charges $10k per year in school fees, then to cover this cost the school would only have to recruit 1 (one) extra student for 3.5 years in order to break even on the project.
5. Publicity Benefits
Building a satellite brings publicity and ultimately school fees. Wouldn't it be cool if President Obama came round for a photo opportunity? Well guess who showed up to to see the first High School Satellite.
Local politicians are always on the lookout for good news stories to attach their name too, and when they find out that you are building your countries/states/regions first High School built satellite, they will be queueing up.
6. Reputation Benefits
Apart from the obvious technology benefits from developing something like a PocketQube, your High School will be seen as the prominent High Technology education centre in the region.
7. Its really cool!
The team at PocketQube Shop get out of bed every morning not for the pay cheques, but for the same reason a lot of people work in the space industry, its inspiring. Knowing that your hardware is orbiting the Earth at 17,500 mph and doing useful science or in our case enabling others is just the coolest thing we can think to spend our times doing.
Hopefully we haven’t scared you off PocketQubes too much, but if you want to know more then drop us an firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help discuss your first/next satellite project.
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