We are pleased to announce that our Eldorado Space Cowboys were featured in a nice article in the Texas Lone Star Magazine. These students have worked hard, and it was great to see their accomplishments regognized in such a prestigious magazine. See the full article HERE.
The Eldorado Space Cowboys scored a major Coup last week when they acquired a new chase vehicle for their space program. In the past, the students chased and recovered their probes using a school suburban. Since these vehicles are multi-use, they had to install any equipment the day before launch, and then remove it the day after launch. This greatly reduced the amount of high tech gear that could be incorporated into chase and recovery operations.
This will no longer be an issue, as Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran has provided the team with their very own chase vehicle. The vehicle formerly served as the Schleicher County Command and Control Center, so it is already decked out with high tech surveillance and communication gear. The Space Cowboys will now equip the vehicle with equipment that will allow the team to track the space probe in flight from the back of the vehicle, and will allow communication back to Mission Control via 2M, 40M and 80M HAM radios.
Acquiring this vehicle will allow the Space Cowboys to take their Space Program to the next level. You can follow the Space Cowboy’s work at their FACEBOOK PAGE
As most of you know, I teach High School, and in addition to all the engineering and math classes I teach, I have a class where the students design and build sophisticated instrument packages, and then launch them to the edge of space on High Altitude Balloons.
Students must apply and then be accepted into this program, and the class is a block that takes most of the afternoon. The program is called the League of Extraordinary Space Cowboys, and the team usually gets two launches off a year. Pictured above is this year’s group.
I am really looking forward to working with this group of talented young people . . . they are among the best students I have ever had. You can follow their work on facebook HERE.
While making a quick run into Uganda, ended up getting my car commandeered at a Military checkpoint. Soldiers wanted us to take them to Kampala, but we ended up at the Nile. They made arrangements for transport by boat, and we steamed up to the headwaters of the Nile River. We collected water from the headwaters of the Nile for a Souvenir.
As most of you know, I teach High School Engineering, so I am always looking for exciting platforms from which I can make Match, Physics, Engineering and Programming Fun and Exciting. I have done a lot of work with Edge of Space Ballooning, but was looking for something that would allow more flights, and more COL (Cycles of Learning) per year.
I think I have happened onto something that might be the ultimate Engineering teaching tool for High School. This is the 3DR X8+ Unmanned Aerial Drone.
I have spent about six months working with this unit, and am very excited about it. I consider it to be an exceptional teaching platform and the students like it.
This is something they have to put together, read instructions carefully, and learn in order to get it up and running. This though, is one of the things I like about it. We need to teach Engineering, and some of the really ready to fly out of the box drones like the Phantom are fun, but do not offer the same educational opportunities.
I have gotten excellent technical support from 3DR when I hit a snag I can not figure out. We have had dozens of successful flights on this platform, and are now starting to build our own instrument packages to fly on it.
It requires attention, but mastering the use of this unit is well withen the skill set of motivated High School Students.
I do plan on doing lessons on some of the things we do with this drone in the future.
Making The World a Better Place One High Tech Project at a Time. Enjoy!