NASA to Launch High School Students’ Satellite

Source: Montana State University

I’m continually amazed at how technology progresses: Where once computers were the size of warehouses, now they can be as small as spare change. Likewise, where once launching a satellite consumed a small but significant chunk of the GDP of a prosperous nation, now high school students can design a satellite and have it launched into orbit.

A satellite developed and built by about 50 students from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology over the past eight years—the first ever built by high school students—is scheduled to be launched into orbit by NASA November 19, weather permitting.

The satellite, known as TJ3Sat (pronounced TJ-cube-sat), is one of 20 satellites selected by NASA as part of its CubeSat Launch Initiative, which includes cube-shaped research satellites that weigh approximately three pounds, also known as nanosatellites.

The CubeSat initiative isn’t new; people have been designing and launching very small satellites for a couple of decades now. When my husband was in grad school in the 90s his department was involved in such a launch. It just blows my mind that the technology has become accessible enough that even high school students can design a space-capable system now. Congratulations to the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology students and good luck for their launch!

[Editor note: GeekMom Jenny sends out a special congratulations to the students at her old high school! (Class of ’91)]

Thanks, Freddie Wong!

Image By Rocket Jump
Image By Rocket Jump

To the producers and writers of Video Game High School Season Two:

YAAAAAAAAY!!!!!! You did it! You are part of the Web Entertainment Revolution. You have a high quality filmed, action-romatic-comedy, with developing characters, in a unique fictional universe, only available on the internet.

Awhile back I sent A Plea To Freddie Wong to take a great concept, well-produced show, and take it to a better level of plot and characters. With season two of Video Game High School, there is the time (thirty minute episodes) and the writing to do just that. I’ve watched up to episode four, and have been completely entertained. The series manages to blend multiple surrealistic game worlds with the everyday life of teenagers in a very cool high school.

There was a Kickstarter for this second season that went completely over their goal, and you all have put the funds to good use. The settings, costumes, and action-sequences are great. It must be so much fun because the actors get to be in multiple places in every episode. No boring sets here.

With the very first, I was giggling. The office scene with the Benji Dolly, Ellary Porterfield, and Freddie Wong discussing homework was hilarious. 

Keep it up! I hope everyone tunes in to watch your Video Game High School Season Two.

Peace and games,

Rebecca Angel


Prom Night Memories: The Good, the Bad, and Tears for Fears

Rebecca Angel with high hopes on prom night.

This post was published on the original GeekMom site, then published again on Wired, and now it’s back here! I can’t get enough of these stories, so please add your own!

Do geeks go to prom? In fiction, it depends on the gender. Geek guys rarely go, unless they are the comic relief. Geek girls can often have the “Cinderella” dream happen and become the belle of the ball.

But that’s fiction. What about in real life?

I recently shared my prom story with the community of geekmoms and a few dared to tell about their own:

I asked the guy I liked to my prom, even though he was a junior, and my friends thought I was weird. However, I was convinced he would ask me to be his girlfriend that night…then hoped it would happen the next day. We went to NYC to see Nine Inch Nails, but couldn’t get in the club because we weren’t 21 (even though we paid for the tickets). I was so disappointed. He didn’t ask me to be his girlfriend at all that weekend, and I found out later that was because he already had a girlfriend, but thought it was fun to lead me on anyway. Damn, younger men! – ME

Continue reading Prom Night Memories: The Good, the Bad, and Tears for Fears