You are currently viewing CiS: Lift Off & Surprise Award for Mr. T

What started out as a St. Mary’s 6th grade Science Lab experiment with yeast morphed into an idea for a Cubes in Space (CiS) proposal in Technology & Design class. After a great deal of work, the CiS project application was accepted.

Over the course of the 2023-2024 school year, Middle School students from St. Mary’s Catholic School and a team from Open High School worked on the experiment, collaborated with a team of scientists from Purdue University to build the experiment, and shipped it off to be integrated in the NASA Terrier Improved Orion Sounding rocket.

The launch would be part of CiS’s annual FlightFest, a very special multi-day event celebrating the suborbital science achievements of students culminating with the Sounding Rocket-10 (SR-10) mission on June 20th from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. Lift off was at 5:30 a.m. and it was a perfect launch witnessed by SMCS student Becky Smolka and Mr. Tlusty along with many other FlightFest attendees.

Becky Smolka (SMCS ’24) spearheaded the St. Mary’s CiS team and logged the most work among her Cubes in Space project collaborators. According to Mr. Tlusty, “She was fabulous at NASA Wallops this week during the Expo and student presentation segment.”

“It was a huge surprise when I was awarded the CiS 2024 Exceptional Educator Award by Becky and Lourdes Olivencia (SMCS ’23),” Tlusty continued, “I want to thank all of our fabulous St. Mary’s students for the role they played in this incredible learning opportunity.”