Winslow school Cubesat team student Charles Byers, 13, solders a fine electrical wire Wednesday, June 21, before the wire was attached to a mylar satellite students were building. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

The Winslow Public Schools took home overall winner and best-in-show while the Readfield-area middle school team won its overall division at University of Southern Maine’s inaugural Cubesat Design Competition on Saturday.

Competing in the high school division, Winslow’s five-member team‘s design focused on Solar Sail Deployment. A cubesat, short for cube satellites, is a small research spacecraft weighing under three pounds.

It collected solar wind with highly reflective material, sailing despite atmospheric pressures.

Winslow’s team had three rising high school seniors (Ryan Yang, Zack St. Pierre, Steven Sloat), one rising sophomore (Nathan Hatt) and a rising eighth grader (Charles Byers). Ginny Brackett, Winslow’s Gifted and Talented Program advisor, oversaw the team. The other finalists at the high school division were Falmouth and Portland High Schools and Fryeburg Academy.

The finalist teams, including a middle school division, launched their projects Saturday off a university-owned high-altitude balloon. The balloon crested at over 100,000 feet, and contest organizers recovered the cubesat designs in Wiscasset.

Marancook Middle School, part of Regional School Unit 38 in Readfield, won the overall competition for the middle school division. The winning teams will receive trophies to display at the schools.

The Maranacook middle schoolers chose to test Maine algae, to see if it could sustain a stable environment up in space. The idea of the experiment was to see if the plant can reproduce as a viable food source for astronauts.

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