One of the unusual facets of running a program that is part of a dissertation research project is that there is paperwork to be done. In this case, students interested in the program need a signed permission (or ‘informed consent’) form for the university. After returning permission forms, students then take a simple survey, called the TOSRA — the Test of Science Related Attitudes. This is the meat of Mr. Verhage’s project, which will help determine whether participating as part of the balloon satellite build team influences peoples’ attitudes toward science, scientists, and science careers.
Our build team completed their permission forms and surveys, and on Thursday, January 26 we “broke the seal” on the BalloonSat kit. (By the way, similar kits called “Balloon Sat Mini” are available from Mr. Verhage’s Nearsys products website.)
The first after-school session included familiarizing the build team with the new workzone (makerzone, hackerspace) I created in my classroom, including the basic tools and equipment we have at our disposal. We also talked a bit about safety, soldering, the components in the kit, and the phases we will go through in our build process.
Our meeting time was limited, so we re-packaged our build kit and scheduled our next meeting–Tuesday, January 31.