In 2010, Meryl began the SpaceCats club with the help of physics teacher John Burk. In the first year of the club, the SpaceCats launched regular balloons with messages so the SpaceCats could plot where they land. She started SpaceCats as a freshman, and completed her initial goal of launching a weather balloon to the upper stratosphere as a Sophomore. Now a Junior in high school, Meryl’s excited to start our PongSat program and rocking both the softball field and the classroom. She is also working to develop a partnership with Drew Charter School, in which Westminster students and Drew students collaborate to send up PongStat experiments.
Beau finds it very difficult to write about himself in third person. Beau joined SpaceCats in 2011, and quickly convinced Nathaniel and John to be involved as well. Beau was also responsible for scavenging together a balloon in 2011 from the parts and small budget we already had. This year, Beau, a sophomore, is a lead in robotics and a lead in SpaceCats. He’s also responsible for integrating the PongSat program into the SpaceCats and the partnership between the SpaceCats and JP aerospace.
This is John’s first year in SpaceCats. Even though he’s our newest addition to the team, he’s been great help in designing the balloon and designing our new and fabulous website. John wants to be an astronaut. While we give him lots of grief for his seemingly childish dream, he always points out to us that we’ll be in a cubicle as he floats around in space. John was also responsible for helping Beau organize a call with Mr. Powell of JP Aerospace to organize a partnership. John is easily recognizable by his full-faced, always present smile.
Nathaniel joined the SpaceCats team in 2011. He played a major role in building the balloon we sent to space in the spring of 2012. This year, Nathaniel is a sophomore working heavily with Westminster’s broadcast team, while also being the technical director for the school plays. We’re amazed Nathaniel is still able to find so much time for SpaceCats. One of Nathaniel’s roles is to edit the raw footage we get from the balloon into something we can share with our supports, sponsors and followers.