William Flood – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – New LRHS physics teacher Daniel Goodman is starting is a new club this year, the StellarXplorers Club. He has hosted this club at other schools, but this will the first time it will be available at LRHS.
The club uses a software called “STK” that is a planning software used for simulated flight paths and planetary fly-bys.
Throughout the year they plan to calculate orbits of satellites around planets and use the software in Launch operations scenarios. They will also be learning about the various types of orbits, natural challenges of space travel, and the planetary bodies in our solar system that will be a part of the missions.
The club will have multiple teams competing nationally. Each team made up of three to six people which will use the STK software to plan their own orbital paths. If a team goes far enough the they will go to the National Championship in Colorado Springs and compete against teams from across the country.
“This is a student-led organization; therefore my role is more like a coach or facilitator. Each team has a significant amount of stuff to learn both academically and applied. All the materials for the academic part are available through their web site,” stated Goodman.
“Meanwhile there is the simulator (STK) that must also be mastered. Each team member will be able to download and install a copy on a computer of their choice.”
According to Goodman, the meeting times are up to each team. Each team can meet anywhere they choose. All this will be discussed during the information sessions, which he expects, should occur sometime during August, after school.