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A student-led space program is set to take flight at Raytown Quality Schools–Raytown Mission to Space: IGNITE Satellite Program. High school students are working with Interorbital Systems and Raytown community groups to build and launch a low-orbit satellite–becoming one of a handful of K-12 school districts in the entire country to send a payload into orbit. Students are developing hands-on experience and skills relating to project management, engineering, programming, HAM radio operation, photography and marketing. Once in orbit, the satellite will collect information and data to enhance Raytown’s K-12 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) curriculum.

Every Tuesday at 3 p.m., the high school shop classroom at Raytown Schools transforms to Mission Control. Photo Credit: KCTV5

Melissa Tebbenkamp, the school’s director of technology, has watched with pride as the students have collaborated and researched concepts far more advanced than a high school curriculum.

“It’s not the adult’s project,” Tebbenkamp insisted. “It’s not teacher driven or the technology department’s. It’s about the students building that satellite.”

While the initial timeline of the project had students set to launch the satellite in May 2017, students are perfecting programming and design. Students will continue to work on the satellite throughout the summer and into next school year if needed.

You can read about the progress students are making on the project by visiting the STUDENT BLOG. KCTV5, out of Kansas City, also aired a great news story detailing the program’s success and student interaction.

About Raytown Quality Schools
Raytown Quality Schools (RQS) has served the youth of Raytown, Mo., for more than 100 years. With a graduation rate exceeding 83 percent, RQS has earned 11 National Merit Finalist and Scholarship Winners in the past decade alone. Today, RQS has a K-12 enrollment of 8,800 students.

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