Nipmuc Engineering

Nipmuc Regional High School Engineering Students Win Recognition in International Event, Will Develop Equipment for Suborbital Launch

MENDON -- Superintendent Maureen Cohen proudly shares that Nipmuc Regional High School  Engineering students have been honored in an international competition.

Team Nipmuc – Engineering 2 students Dominic Abisso, Joe Antoun, Derek Cerundolo, Alex Heather, Marcelo Filho, Ronan Joyce, Liam O'Connell, Alysse Stasio, Jacob Snow, and Jackson Theall – participated in a month-long MaxIQ Space World Space Week 2022 competition based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The students used CubeSat (cube satellite) sensors to gather data on light and ultraviolet levels for a week. Data analysis determined a solar panel should always face the sun to maximize electricity production. To address this challenge, the students designed a solar panel with a motor to orient the panel to the sun continually.

Judges selected Team Nipmuc as runner-up. Students were awarded advanced CubeSat sensors.

The Engineering 2 team also has been sponsored to participate in MaxIQ Space’s Suborbital Launch Challenge. MaxIQ Space has teamed up with bluShift Aerospace, a rocket company startup based in Brunswick, Maine, seeking to launch the CubeSat with rockets using non-toxic, carbon-neutral biofuel. 

In this challenge, students will design a CubeSat to collect data during a suborbital rocket launch.  Students will analyze their data, and share their research with bluShift Aerospace to improve their rocket. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to participate in real-world science and engineering,” said Engineering 2 teacher James Gorman.  

In November, the students will attend a full rocket test fire in Brunswick, Maine, in November. The students are designing and building special devices to fit the rocket during the test fire. The device will collect mission-critical data, which the students will analyze and share with bluShift Aerospace to improve future launches and test their hypothesis that they are using carbon-neutral fuel.

The students’ CubeSat will be part of the company’s first suborbital test fire during the first half of 2023.

Students will present their project in the World Space Week 2023 MaxIQ Space competition.

“Congratulations to Team Nipmuc and Mr. Gorman on these great successes. Projects such as these help students learn how to innovate, collaborate and communicate,” Superintendent Cohen said. “They are honing the skills they need to be successful throughout life, and will have the knowledge to create effective and meaningful change.”

Engineering 2 students (Alex Heather, Derek Cerundolo, Marcelo Filho, Liam O'Connell) are part of Team Nipmuc. (Photo Courtesy Mendon Upton Regional School District)