Satellite Week 2018 Camp Updates

Day 1

Sunday, July 22


Students arrived at UNCA filled with enthusiasm and eager to get started! After settling into their dorm rooms, participants got to know each other with a few ice breaker activities.

We gathered the crew and headed over to the classroom where Dr. Cecil gave  an opening welcome and a little background about Destination SPACE. 

Melissa  from the Asheville Museum of Science provided a creative activity that emphasized the importance of communication. She split everyone up in teams  of two, one sketcher and one communicator.  The communicator had to  describe a picture that the communicator had to draw (without seeing the  picture). The teams came up with some very resourceful methods that included breaking the picture up into quadrants or even providing  measurements. It became clear how important clear communication is  an integral part to any team.

Mike Tanner, Director, NOAA NCEI CWC (bio below), joined us and shared his  experience as a NASA flight director and NASA director for satellite  programs, showed off his cool mission patches, and provided inspirational  words encouraging students to aspire to careers that truly fulfill them.

Followed by dinner at Brown Hall, the students reassembled in the classroom and separated into the 6 six teams that they will remain in for the rest of the week.

Dr. Cecil explained the mission patch competition where each team will design the 2018 Satellite Week Space Camp patch following some of the pointers that Mike Tanner gave.  The winning team will be decided at the end of the week and Destination SPACE will have a graphic artist finalize the artwork and create a patch!  Each team will also come up with their own unique teams names.  

Kathy provided a brief intro to Satellites​ and Remote Sensing and followed it up with a puzzle activity.  

It was a great first day!


Day 2

Monday, July 22

The day started off with a visit from Mary Wohlgemuth, Director of NOAA NCEI, who provided inspiring words!

Next was a visit to the GeoDome, where they were introduced to several satellite remote sensing applications.

We also got to see UNCA's solar array on top of Ponder Hall.  This sparked all sorts of conversation from fuel efficiency to political agendas, to climate change.

After learning how to solder, we made Jiggy Bots (mini robots) and later had a Jiggy Bot Race!


Day 3

Tuesday, July 24

The day started with building our ground stations with xChips.

We used the dashboard to connect and configure our ground stations.

Next we started building our satellites.

During the day we had a tour of the beautiful UNCA campus.

We closed out the day learning a little about Quality Control and Calibration.


Day 4

Wednesday, July 25

First we started off the day with a visit from Dr. Eric Kihn, Director, NCEI Center for Coasts, Oceans and Geophysics to talk about space weather.

Most of the day was dedicated to balloon launches! Each team took turns inflating balloons with helium, tethering their satellites to the balloons, and retrieving data.  But pictures are worth 1,000 words, so check them out!

We had a wonderful break in the day when Dr. Doug Knight gave an awesome talk on rocketry. Then he showed us how to build rockets and we blasted them off in the Quad!​​

 We ended the day with pizza and ice cream and watched Hidden Figures.


Day 5

Thursday, July 26

We completed balloon launches and started data analysis. 

Five young professionals came and met with small groups of students to discuss their choices in high school and give insight into how they got to where they are today.


Day 6

Friday, July 27

Today was perhaps the most anticipated day of camp. We were lucky enough to meet former astronaut Joan Higginbotham! Joan gave a fantastic presentation and answered all of our many questions. 

After Joan's presentation, three other special guests joined us for a career panel. 


Day 7

Saturday, July 28

Students put on final presentation for family, friends, and local scientists. Everyone did a fantastic job; we are so proud of everyone's hard work, energy, and enthusiasm throughout the week!