FAQ

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What is STEAM?

STEAM - the interconnections between science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics.


What is a sounding rocket?

A sounding or research rocket carries scientific instruments into space to take measurements along a non-orbiting and parabolic path (trajectory). This means the rocket flies up and then back down to Earth along an arced path.


What is a research balloon?

A research or scientific balloon is an extremely large, helium filled balloon used to offer a low-cost method of conducting science investigations to help answer important questions about the universe, atmosphere, the Sun, and the space environment.


Who can participate?

Students around the world, between the ages of 11-18, can participate in both the sounding rocket and high altitude balloon programs.


Can a student self-register?

No. Please see below.


Why must students have a sponsor?

An adult sponsor from a school or community service organization must facilitate the content. Sponsors must certify that the students meet eligibility requirements. And if a student's payload is selected for spaceflight, the sponsor must complete the Spaceflight Certification Form that verifies that all contents are compliant with all NASA regulations.


Why do teacher or coordinators need to register to host the program?

It helps us plan for the potential number of applications for spaceflight we could receive and evaluate.


Do teachers or coordinators need to have a background in science, math or engineering to host the program?

No. All of the materials in the Design Toolkit will enable the sponsor to facilitate the program for the students.


What does it mean to facilitate the program?

The adult sponsor is meant to be a "guide on the side, not a sage on the stage." Following the directions and activity plans within the Design Toolkit will allow the sponsors to guide the students to become more self-directed learners. With a little prompting from the sponsor, the students will initiate discussions and take the lead to discover answers to questions they generate. The sponsor is there to keep the students on track and help to clarify any confusion the students may encounter.


What is in the Design Toolkit?

Detailed step-by-step directions of how to conduct the program including scripts, options of how to present information, detailed infographics providing answers to questions students ask, list of simple materials for activities, answer keys for calculations, printables to disseminate to students, and links to web content for further investigation.


Are the activities in the Design Toolkit really difficult?

Not at all. The activities and content are age-appropriate. The calculations in the activities utilize concepts students learned in primary school and in their current coursework.


Do I need to use everything in the Design Toolkit?

No. It's a toolkit. Select and choose the resources and activities you wish to use with your students. The Design Toolkit is a comprehensive RESOURCE that was created to allow ANY adult to facilitate the program for any student they believe would be interested in Cubes in Space. Some educators may use all of the Design Toolkit, and some may simply skip to the proposal components. There is no obligation to use the entire Design Toolkit.


How much time is needed to complete all the program components?

The program is designed to be completed in approximately 12-15 hours broken into several sessions or phases. However, students may progress more quickly or slowly through the phases depending on their level of prior knowledge, interest, enthusiasm and motivation.


How are experiments chosen?

A panel composed of educators, engineers, corporate professionals, and university students will evaluate the proposals using a set of criteria that will be provided in the Design Toolkit.


How many experiments are chosen?

From all the submissions, 80 experiments will be chosen for the sounding rocket mission(SR-3) and 50 for the high altitude research balloon mission (RB-2).


How are students notified if they are or are not chosen?

By April 1st, 2016, sponsors will be emailed the results for the students for whom they submitted the proposals and application for spaceflight. The sponsors will be responsible for notifying the students. We do not directly contact students during this process.


Who pays for the components of the experiments?

The sponsor's school or organization. The experiments will be simple; therefore, materials should be of minimal cost.


If an experiment is chosen for spaceflight, how is the payload returned to Cubes In Space?

Payload kits are mailed to the sponsor's school or organization. A return mailing label will be included. Attach the label to the payload kit box that was received (reuse the box) and return the payload to Cubes In Space.


Who pays for the shipping?

Cubes In Space pays for all shipping.


Will the payload be returned after spaceflight?

Yes. Schools or organizations will be returned the experimental payload if recoverable and should anticipate a late summer delivery.


Will students and sponsors be able to watch the launch?

At minimum, a video of the launch will be available on the Cubes In Space website.