Derek Pierce, Brighton BGC Manager
The Boys and Girls Club in Brighton recently completed a special project learning more about satellite technology, particularly as it relates the Seminole channel on Direct TV. The project was completed in early January at the club. The project consisted of building a scale model satellite system , showing up links, down links, space satellites , launch vehicles, and signal path models made of string.
Conversation of the project with youth covered the history of satellite communications , the need for the technology, and its current uses, such as, TV, cell phones, radio, military , weather etc. The conversation also covered how modern digital compression works and how the tribe uses this technology for the Seminole channel on Direct TV.
“I noticed how some of the youth wondered why a dish pointed at the sky so I figured we should make a project out of it “ stated BGC Unit manger Derek Pierce.
The youth appeared very interested in the project. The youth participated in a brief description of the model and how a signal is transmitted to and from a satellite in space.
The youth had many intelligent questions, particularly about signal speed, distance covered, channel capacity , and how long a satellite will last in space.
“ The signal is going fast ! and goes thousands of miles before it gets to my house” stated Derrick Smith ( club member)
“ The satellite goes up on a rocket and floats in space! Wow!” stated Kayven Emily ( club member)
“ I had no idea how the dish worked, now when I see one, I realize how much is happening we don’t see” stated Jaden Puente ( club member)
The brief overview was followed by the opportunity for youth to make an exact scale model of a space satellite.
This model project inspired more great conversation about the building process, launch process and satellite life span.
Some youth talked about wanting to see a live satellite / rocket launch at Cape Canaveral someday .
This unusual project sparked a lot a great conversation about technology , space, engineering and future goals.