Space Raiders

This past March, the Space Raiders purchased a 9.25” refractor telescope with a computer-controlled motorized “go-to” mount and camera adapter. Thanks to the generous donations from the Perloff Family Foundation, The Lucas Spencer Passion Fund, and Sally and Jim Gibson of Fryeburg, the purchase was possible. The telescope purchase helps to further our mission for viewing and astrophotography of the planets, stars, galaxies, nebula, and comets. We will be having open viewing events on campus and at the OLRC barn as weather and schedules permit.

Fryeburg Academy’s Space Raiders Club was founded in 2018 by physics teacher Dr. Warren Ziegler for astronomy and space science students. Dr. Ziegler is currently engaged as a Space Scientist with the University of Southern Maine and continues to mentor students from Fryeburg Academy’s Space Raiders Club. He is now working with Mr. Tyler O’Keefe ’14 who has joined as a faculty co-advisor. Despite the pandemic, the Space Raiders have many successful activities and events to report. The Space Raiders contributed to a successful NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) proposal to have a Maine-built satellite launched into orbit by NASA (MESAT-1). The Raiders contributed sections on remote sensing, telemetry, and attitude control to the overall proposal. A small satellite launch is worth as much as $100,000, so this is a significant award. The Space Raiders will have an experiment included in MESAT-1, which will carry cameras that will image the earth in different colors. By doing so, it will be able to assess the state of the waters around Maine. For example, the ratio of reflected green light from the water surface to reflected infra-red light indicates the presence of plankton and the number of solids (turbidity) in the water. MESAT-1 is scheduled to be launched into a polar orbit in April of 2022.

The Space Raiders proceeded to the next phase of the University of Southern Maine’s CubeSat Competition with the team's design submission that was launched on a high-altitude balloon from the Lewiston campus of the University of Southern Maine on June 26th. The balloon reached an altitude of 22 miles when it burst, the CubeSat payload descended safely to earth on a parachute and was tracked and recovered in Wiscasset later that same afternoon. The CubeSat was brought back to the lab at USM, which had successfully recorded data on atmospheric pressure, altitude, magnetic field, and acceleration. The launch was facilitated by Professor Richard Eason of the University of Maine and funded by NASA through the Maine Space Grant Consortium. Due to the post-school year timing, logistics, and COVID, we were not able to have FA students present at the launch. Space Raiders will have videos, photos, and data to analyze this Fall. 

Additionally, this past November, Space Raider’s member Andrii Obertas created a unique Venus Rover design that entered a NASA challenge. The challenge was to design a rover that could maneuver around obstacles using mechanical sensors and minimal electronics as the high temperatures at Venus’s surface are detrimental to electronic components; Andrii’s design involved using a wheel at the end of an articulated boom connected to the rover body. This was an open competition for all ages. Andrii’s entry was very clever though it did not win overall, still a significant achievement given that he competed against professional engineers and scientists from around the world.

List of 5 news stories.

  • USDA Awards over $70 Million in Grants, Maine’s Fryeburg Academy among awardees

    Boston, MA, July 26, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is awarding more than $10 million in Farm to School Grants to 123 projects across the country. Additionally, for the first time, the department is empowering states with $60 million in non-competitive grants to develop stronger and sustainable Farm to School programs over the next four years. Both actions will help more kids nationwide eat healthy, homegrown foods.
  • FA Celebrates Faculty Years of Service

    On June 8, 2022, the Academy recognized faculty and staff for their years of service at the end-of-year staff meeting held in the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center.  Congratulations to the following faculty/staff who were recognized:

  • 1,000 Paper Origami Cranes & the Wish for Peace

    It was almost serendipitous that two simultaneous Peace Crane Projects were in the works during April and May to create an astounding 1,000 paper origami cranes. The project's roots are based on the ancient Japanese origami art form, where delicate and colorful kami paper is folded into ornate objects. And, according to ancient legend, "anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by the gods." In this particular case, peace for Ukraine. 
  • FA Finance Class Teams Take First Place in the Maine Stock Market Game

    Students in mathematics teacher William Frey’s finance classes very successfully participated this semester in the SIFMA Foundation’s renowned ‘Stock Market Game,’ achieving a 1.9767% average return above S&P 500 growth– the lead return among the ten Maine schools participating. 
  • FA Places Second in the Biomimicry Institute’s 2021-22 Youth Design Challenge

    For a second consecutive year, Fryeburg Academy students placed in the top rankings in the Biomimicry Institute's 2021-22 Biomimicry Challenge. The team placed first last year with their MorphoBrick concept; they placed second this year, out of 125 competing teams from 12 countries, with their Syntrichia Hydrotrap design concept.

    FA's Biomimicry Challenger team, led by FA faculty member Jennifer Richardson, includes the following students: Yuna Lee '23, Grace Liu '23, Daryna Serediuk '22, May Shin '23, Stella Yoon '22, and Zoe Jung '22. This year's challenge was an advanced STEM-based competition that essentially had two goals: first, the design was required to model the structural and functional adaptation of at least one living organism. Secondly, the design needed to identify an environmental problem and propose a sustainable solution.

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Fryeburg Academy is an independent boarding and day school, serving grades 9-12 and postgraduate. We invite you to explore our site and learn how students from around the globe find their place in the world through our exceptional academic, art, and athletic programs.