ORNL donates money to Robertsville Middle School NASA project

(OAK RIDGE) WATE - Students at Robertsville Middle School received a huge donation toward their cube satellite. Oak Ridge National Laboratory presented the young scientists with a check of $15,000. 

With that money in hand, Mr. Livesay's science class is well on their way to build a cube satellite, which was approved by NASA to be launched into space.

"We were pretty excited to finally get a large grant like that," said Mateo Cacheiro, an eighth grader at Robertsville Middle School.

Not only did ORNL present that big check to the class, the national laboratory's director took the time to talk to students about their experience on this project.

To get ready for the building process, students are learning how to code during class.

"We're actually getting in and building a lot of electric motherboards, programming motherboards and 3-D printing cube sats," said Sam Livesay, an eighth grade. 

"It's really amazing to see the teamwork, their passion for the work that they're doing and also the opportunity that they've been given," said Thomas Zacharia, the Oak Ridge National Lab director. "A room full of really excited, bright students who are working on something special."

Robertsville is the first middle school ever selected for cube-satellite launch. 

"To send a satellite up in space and say that we've done that, is insane. A bunch of 12, 13, 14-year-olds sending a satellite to orbit around the Earth," said Livesay. 

NASA will pay for the launch, but Robertsville Middle School still needs help paying for supplies to make the project a reality. 

"Everything is in place but without money and a way to build the satellite, we can't be successful. We cannot complete the satellite unless we have funds to pay for the equipment," said Todd Livesay, the STEM teacher at Robertsville Middle School. 

Robertsville Middle School is hoping to raise $70,000 through grant money and community donations to send their cube-satellite into space in the next year or two. 

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