Welcome to PLIX CubeSats! This is a series of workshops for exploring outer space environments using small, instrument- and sensor-laden spacecraft.
✋ Extended Interaction 🥰 Ages 8+ 🕐 1.5–2 Hours 👩👦👦 up to 20 Participants 🍎 1–2 Facilitators 🎨 Craft Materials
The use of cube satellites (or cubesats), a type of miniaturized satellite for space research, is revolutionizing the way that we explore our universe. Use these sessions in order, or mix and match activities!
Each of the three workshops centers on one key element of spacecraft design cycle:
- 📐 Rapid Prototyping: Patrons design and build their own mock cube satellites and then come up with their own testing strategies to assess their designs.
- 🧪 Payload Development: Patrons explore different payloads that they will integrate into their satellite and use for data collection.
- 🎈 Satellite Launch & Data Collection: Patrons launch their designs on tethered balloons to collect data for analysis.
We aim to:
- Foster a hands-on creative environment to engage with ideas about outer space exploration and small satellite design
- Experience the engineering and design lifecycle, using low-cost and reusable materials.
- Engage patrons in collecting and analyzing their own data.
- Facilitate discussions on emerging outer space technologies and how these can help address challenges on Earth (including climate change).
In Your Library…
Some ideas for bringing these activities to your library:
- Program building and launch sessions to coincide with World Space Week 👩🚀
- Run these workshops during a climate-related community event (like Earth Day!) 🌎
- Partner with a local university or technical partner, and have them participate as facilitators in the workshops 👩🔬
- Combine these workshops with PLIX Space Food, and host your own space week at your library
What We ❤️ About This activity
🪐 Provides a creative pathway for getting started with engineering for outer space This activity invites learners of all backgrounds to engage with ideas related to outer space exploration and satellite design in a hands-on and playful way.
👨👨👧👧 Encourages peer learning and collaboration Patrons work together in the engineering and creation process to share, remix, and riff on ideas for prototyping model satellites.
📊 Supports data literacy Engaging and hands-on prompts encourage patrons to collect, manipulate, and analyze their own data.
🌍 Offers an entry point for dialog about our changing planet The activities can spark discussions about how emerging outer space technologies can help to address some of the challenges we face here on Earth, including climate change.
PLIX Community Book Connections
About PLIX CubeSats
This series of workshops is inspired by an outreach program at the Media Lab, Climate CubeSat Co-Building (C3), developed by the Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative. The first iteration of PLIX CubeSats was co-designed with members of the PLIX Team as well as library professionals from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (North Carolina) and Cambridge Public Library (Massachusetts).
Other ways to engage with the CubeSats program:
- Questions? Ask them on the PLIX Discussion Forum 🙋♀️
- Contribute to our CubeSats Spotify Playlist 🎶
- Share your experience running this activity on Twitter or Instagram and tag us @heyplix
The Public Library Innovation Exchange (PLIX) is a project of the MIT Media Lab Digital Learning & Collaboration Studio. Except where otherwise noted, all materials on this site are licensed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license. Accessibility.