Weekly roundup: Student-built satellite ready to launch, new AP computer science class pays off, and more

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A miniature satellite built by 150 high schoolers from six Irvine campuses is ready to be launched into orbit from a site in India.

A news graphicOn Wednesday, about 60 of the students who worked on the long-running project took one last look at their plucky CubeSat as it was prepped and positioned into an orbital deployer at Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Inc. in Irvine.

As the Orange County Register reports, the nanosatellite, known as IRVINE01, represents a first for the West Coast — and it’s drawn a fair amount of media attention.

Work on the project began in early 2016, involving teams from University, Woodbridge, Northwood, Irvine and Portola high schools in the Irvine Unified School District, as well as Beckman High in the Tustin Unified School District.

If all goes as planned, the CubeSat will orbit at a range of 200 to 300 miles, communicating with high school classes as it snaps pictures of Venus, the moon and stars, according to the newspaper.

And here’s some more education news from the week ending July 28:

  • The College Board says it’s seeing an encouraging jump in the number of female, Latino and African-American students taking Advanced Placement computer science exams, attributing the increases to a new AP computer science class that goes beyond coding to focus on big-picture concepts.

That’s all for this week. For more education news stories, visit news.ocde.us.