By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As they look to the future of our nation, policy makers have been discouraged at the lack of students focusing on STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and math. However, an after-school project, culminating seven years of work at Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax County, Virginia, should give them hope.

With the help of some graduate students and a grant of $30,000 from Orbital Sciences Corporation, fifty 14 and 15-year-olds designed and built a small satellite, the size of a Pop-Tart box.

TJCubeSat was sent into space in November, and completes an orbit around the earth about every 100 minutes, receiving students’ messages on radio waves that can be heard via ham radio. The coding tells the satellite what it’s going to do and how it will react when the students are on the ground talking to TJ in space.

Read more about this inspiring project in The Washington Post.

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