“What impressed us most about the mission proposals was students’ enthusiasm to take on complex and ambitious projects — many of which focused on issues similar to what our national space missions are currently tackling.”
—    Scott Stump, Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education

Scott Stump’s quote says it all. The five finalists proposed ambitious projects that synthesize data streams outside those collected by the cubesat. A lesson to all: Think outside the cube. It will be interesting to follow their progress and see the results.

The finalists are:

  • Anderson Clark Magnet High School (La Crescenta, California) is studying whether local encampments are in high-risk wildfire areas, with the goal of helping the local fire department save lives of people without housing.
  • Freeport High School (Freeport, New York) is measuring Earth’s surface temperature to study the differences in heat absorption and retention between urban and rural areas.
  • Mooresville High School (Mooresville, North Carolina) is measuring the effect of their town’s population growth on air quality, land use, and temperature.
  • Opelika High School (Opelika, Alabama) is collaborating with Columbus High School and Northside High School (Columbus, Georgia). The team plans to collect performance data for a new type of core material used in NASA-grade fluxgate magnetometers, which are used to study Earth’s changing magnetic field.
  • Princeton High School (Princeton, New Jersey) is collaborating with Montgomery High School (Skillman, New Jersey). The team wants to optimize space missions by examining topics such as atmospheric pressure density or habitable planetary environments.

From: https://www.ctemissioncubesat.com/five-finalists-announced/