The Project DaVinci team visits Burt Rutan at his lakeside home

What is Project DaVinci?

Project DaVinci is a team of high school students in rural North Idaho working with the community’s best mentors to launch a SATELLITE! As the only high school chosen by NASA to launch in 2018, the team is looking to connect everyone to space again.“We are determined to reignite the magic of the Apollo days,” said team member Joe Broder. The team has recognized the lack of enthusiasm shown towards space in the recent years and aims to use tools such as social media and virtual reality to give students and individuals alike a personal connection with space.

An Educational Beginning...

The first and main focus of Project DaVinci is to inspire students around the world to pursue STEM education, careers, and fields. The team attends North Idaho STEM Charter academy and has experienced what a STEM focused and project-based education can do for them. They want to share the gift of education with students from every country on Earth. Project DaVinci’s goal is to connect with at least one “partner school” from every country and one from every state in the United States. “Our goal is to get students of all ages, races, genders, religions, and nationalities involved in our project. Space is truly for everyone!” logistics lead Paige Pence stated. Project DaVinci will give partner schools access to the satellite via radio receiver kits, and students will also have complete access to free lesson plans that have a dedicated focus to space topics. For example, one lesson plans allows students to build mock comets and learn about the different materials comets are comprised of. Students will also be granted access to an online virtual cockpit that will allow users to feel as though they are in the front seat controlling the satellite.

These are real astronaut gloves that Project DaVinci teammates were able to wear during a presentation by Astronaut John Phillips

An image of the Project DaVinci virtual cockpit simulator that students and individuals will have access to after the launch in 2018. (Cred. Erik Finman)

Let's get the whole world involved!

Project DaVinci wants to invite the general public to participate in their project as well. The team is utilizing modern technologies, such as the ability to use the Internet in space, to deliver the galaxy at your fingertips! With this connection, commonly referred to as Sat-Fi, participants will be able to upload digital media to Project DaVinci’s digital time capsule that is stored on the satellite’s motherboard. This time capsule will capture the world’s favorite pictures, videos, songs, books, video games, and more. People will be able to view the time capsule from their phones and share their memories with the cosmos. Project lead Jessica Millard said, "People deserve a personal connection ith space again. When you are able to send even just a 30 second video into sapce, it's an exhilarating experience!" Students can also participate in a Bitcoin transaction from space! Project DaVinci’s satellite will “rain” down fractions of Bitcoins while orbiting Earth for anyone below to catch. Users will also be granted acces to a virtual cockpit through the Project DaVinci wesbite that will use real-time data from the satellite, such as power levels, speed, and sounds, to allow users to pilot the satellite.

Pretty exciting, right? Then join Project DaVinci
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