Canadian astronaut Jenni Sidey unveiled student teams selected to participate in Canadian CubeSat Project, a new national student space initiative. The announcement was made at the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg. Friday, May 04, 2018. Sun/Postmedia Network
Six Grade 8 students from Ecole Stonewall Centennial School are getting an opportunity that’s literally out of this world.
The students from the school’s space club are making what’s called a gnomon, or a sundial, as part of a collaboration with the University of Manitoba and York University, which will eventually lead to a mini-satellite called a CubeSat being launched into space to study space rocks as part of the Canadian CubeSat Project.
“If you think of sundial, the gnomon is the thing that would cast the shadow onto the plate and we’re making it to measure the light and directionality from the stars and other things like that in space,” said Reid Border, one of the six students in the lunchtime and after school group.“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” added fellow student Eve Lawrence.
The school’s space club is the brainchild of teacher Maria Nichol, who attended a space academy for teachers in Huntsville, AL, in 2008. “I got a lot of inspiration from that program and felt I need to bring back what I learned, some of the skill sets and experiences, and give it to these guys,” Nichol said. “I’m extremely proud of these kids.”
Nichol has run the space club for 10 years now, including four in Stonewall and previous at Woodlands Elementary School. “If Ms. Nichol hadn’t fought so hard to get us into this, we never would have had the opportunity,” Border said.
Earlier last week, the students were off scuba diving, simulations in the water similar to those done at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, an astronaut training facility in Houston, Texas.
“We’ve learned about space, teamwork, robotics, programming, coding,” Kailynne Ogilvie said.