FPA News Archives
A team of Florida Prep AFJROTC students are among a select group of teams nationwide participating in the StellarXplorers National High School Space Competition. Created by the Air Force Association (AFA), StellarXplorers is designed to inspire and motivate high school students and their educators to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through a challenging, space system design competition. The Florida Prep team will be posting a blog to this story following each leg of the competition Click the link 'Reaching for the Stars at Florida Prep' to follow the blog and to learn more about StellarXplorers. www.StellarXplorers.org.
This was our second practice round, and it was very different from anything we have seen before. Instead of designing the orbit for satellites, this time we were designing the satellite itself. We had to pick different combinations of three components to add to the satellite: a camera, data storage, and downlink transmitter.
There were different versions of each component, some better, some worse. The better ones would cost and weigh more, which could lead to problems since we had a budget of about $1.6 million to buy all of the components, and the three components’ collective mass cannot exceed 200 kilograms. We did many calculations until we got to the best combination of the three we could find.
Our combination was pretty effective, since we tied for 12th place with various other teams.
While we could have done better, I do think we did well for our first time doing this new type of scenario. Hopefully we do just as well next time, which will be a qualifying round.
Blog #1 Posted 11.7.2017
The Stellar Explorers team consists of Ryan Mangra (9th grade), Michael Kolaczewski (10th grade), Robert Kammerer (11th grade), and Isaiah Schwartz (9th grade). We started at 9:00. We had 6 hours to do a test and complete a scenario in which we had to place a Satellite in a specific orbit from a program on the computer. Robert and Michael worked on the test while Ryan, Nathaniel and I started on the scenario. Michael and Robert were doing well on the test, but we had many problems with the scenario -the largest one being that it was our first time actually using the program properly, so we were learning as we went along. Problem after problem, we eventually got to a point where we understood the program well enough to complete the scenario.
At this point the test was finished and we were all gathered around the computer. Since we finally knew how to work the program correctly and were actually able to work on the scenario, we were no longer experimenting with the different buttons and instead crunching numbers over and over again for a few hours until we got what looked to be the best and most efficient orbit for the satellite. This took a lot of work; cooperation was vital in our success. Luckily, we had no problems with each other and worked together with little trouble in terms of arguing and disagreement. As a result, our score was 89.964, and the average score for all participants was 59.9. We did pretty good for our first time, although it was just a practice run. Next time we meet up again, it will be an actual competition.
A team of Florida Prep students is among a select group of teams nationwide to participate in the StellarXplorers National High School Space Competition.
Led by Lt Col Dean Fitzgerald, the AFJROTC StellarXplorers team is one of just 120 teams and less than 700 students nationwide competing in this national competition. The team members are Michal Kolaczewski, Robert Kammerer, Isaiah Schwartz, Ryan Mangra, and Nathanial Woodcock.
Early competition activities take place locally including: education and training to prepare the team, two practice rounds, and three online competition qualification rounds to identify top teams for the finals. The finalists will receive an expense-paid trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado, for the Championship round, tour of the Space Foundation’s Space Symposium, and Awards Dinner.
Created by the Air Force Association (AFA), StellarXplorers is designed to inspire and motivate high school students and their educators to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through a challenging, space system design competition.
Building on AFA’s successful CyberPatriot National Cyber Education Program, StellarXplorers will make an additional and significant positive contribution to STEM education across the nation. The program is made possible through the support of the Air Force Research Laboratory STEM Outreach Office; Analytical Graphics, Inc.; Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc.; OrbitalATK Inc.; and the Space Foundation. For more information about StellarXplorers, go to www.StellarXplorers.org.