Meet the Morgan Hill student-engineers who built satellite NASA is launching into space

Dustin Dorsey Image
Thursday, March 28, 2024
Morgan Hill students built satellite getting launching into space
NASA's "CubeSat" Launch Initiative features great minds from across the country. But this year, only one project was made entirely by high schoolers.

MORGAN HILL, Calif. (KGO) -- NASA's "CubeSat" Launch Initiative takes student-designed satellites and sends them into space.

It features great minds from across the country. But this year, only one project was made entirely by high school students.

Most high school projects don't usually have lofty goals beyond an assignment and a grade.

But in Oakwood School's Spacecraft Systems Engineering class, students know their latest assignment has cosmic implications.

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"It gave me an opportunity to apply everything that I learned through all the different classes that this school offers and put it into a real project," Oakwood School Alum Jillian Bogosian said.

"Our work is going to be sent to space and that's exciting news for all of us," Oakwood Senior Shrihan Dash said.

NASA has launched more than 150 student-designed satellites into space.

Soon, Oakwood's "NyanSat" will be one of them heading to the international space station.

It's a work in progress that started back in 2021. Since then, students have designed a 4 x 4 x 8 cube satellite with multiple functions.

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One uses acoustic mapping to see if an object is hollow or not with greater reliability than existing methods.

Schools across the country were selected for this CubeSat Launch Initiative, but only one featured the work of high school students.

"We're just incredibly proud of what these students have accomplished," Oakwood School Engineering Instructor Michael Lyle said. "They've done a bunch of real-world engineering work where they have laid out circuit boards and they've done structural design and they've built a satellite that I think will really advance what is possible to do in space in a number of ways."

Lyle says the goal of the class is to jump off the deep end and explore the possibilities of engineering.

Students could never even imagine that their work would end up in space.

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They hope others can be inspired by their journey, so they can reach new heights as well.

"This is something that it's not just local to Oakwood's it's going out into the world," Bogosian said. "It's going to make a difference and it's going to show other students that if they have an idea, they can do it."

"If you're given an opportunity to take a project of any sort, or maybe even a work opportunity, take it," Dash said. "You never know where it will take you."

Maybe even into space!

Learn more about the CubeSat Initiative here.

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