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Student-Designed Aerospace Project Presented at the National Council of Space Grant Directors Fall Meeting


Maine Space Grant-funded Satellite Project Brings NASA Lessons to Teens

Portland, Maine: Students from Ironwood Maine School were highlighted at the National Council of Space Grant Directors Fall Meeting held in Portland, Maine. The Ironwood Maine team’s scientific ballooning project – IronSat – was funded by a grant from the Maine Space Grant Consortium. Ironwood Maine students Taylor Salzman, Matthew Stark, Miranda Solomon, and Michaela Bailey, along with project coordinator Mark Ford and Ironwood Maine Director of Education Larry Reynolds, briefed the audience of over 250 on their journey as they designed, built and successfully launched a high-altitude balloon carrying a NASA-like payload.

Ironwood Maine project coordinator Mark Ford called the scientific initiative a real NASA-type aerospace program and highlighted the unique educational opportunities fostered by the project.

IronSat involved a balloon capable of lifting a heavier load into near space. Ironwood Maine students built the circuitry and designed the payload, which included a GPS location-finding module for tracking the balloon, a radio communications module and a digital camera remotely programmed to periodically take photographs. Retrieving the payload was part of the challenge and fun of the project for the Ironwood Maine teens.

“The balloon launch was not an iPod simulation or a classroom lecture, but a hands-on project that required real teamwork,” Ford said. “The kids put all the pieces together and sent it up.”

The Ironwood Maine team was one of six states presenting at the National Council fall meeting. Teams from Montana, Kentucky, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Connecticut presented their aerospace projects funded by their state’s Space Grant Consortium.

See photos and read more about Ironwood Maine students’ Scientific Ballooning projects here: Ironwood Maine Scientific Ballooning.

About Ironwood Maine Therapeutic Boarding School

Ironwood Maine Therapeutic Boarding School and Residential Treatment Center - Ironwood Maine is a one-of-a-kind combination of a traditional boarding school and therapeutic treatment program that specializes in working with struggling, underachieving teens whose behavior is often out of control. Through an extensive and customized therapeutic program and academic curriculum, Ironwood Maine helps teens find greater success than they have ever experienced. Ironwood Maine’s mission is to give hope to parents who are concerned about their children by helping their teen become healthy, happy and responsible. For more information on the Ironwood Maine therapeutic program call 1-877-496-2463 or go to


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