NASA launches Downey High student experiment into space

At the end of June, Engineering students from Downey High School had two experiments launched by a sounding rocket into space from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on the eastern shore of Virginia.  

The student team, which was led by junior Akhil Sharma, sent experiments into space which focused on measuring radiation as the payload traveled beyond the troposphere to investigate the absorption of the increased radiation by food samples. 

“This intelligent group of students believes that their data could be used in the future colonization of Mars… and so do I,” said Glenn Yamasaki, the Downey High School teacher who advised these students throughout this process.

A third experiment designed by the team will be sent up on a high-altitude scientific balloon in late summer 2017 from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Ft. Sumner, New Mexico.

Cubes in Space, a program by idoodledu inc., in collaboration with NASA’s Langley Research Center, NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and Colorado Space Grant Consortium, offers global design competitions for students 11-18 years of age to develop STEAM-based experiments for launch into space.

Used in formal or informal learning environments, students and educators are exposed to engaging online content and activities in preparation for the design and development of an experiment to be integrated into a small cube. Throughout the experience, students develop key 21st Century skills; communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.

Since 2014, Cubes in Space has flown nearly 400 experiments representing 1,500 educators and over 20,000 students from 57 different countries. This year nearly 600 educators and thousands of students from 39 countries participated and proposed experiments for a slot on a NASA sounding rocket or high-altitude scientific balloon mission.  Experiments were selected and were designed by students from Australia, Austria, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Serbia, the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and the United States of America.

The mission of iddodleu inc. is to enable students to embrace their curiosity, develop logical and methodical thought, engage in creative problem solving, and experience the joy of learning something new that ignites a students’ imaginations and fuels their determination for success; preparing students to become 21st Century learners, workers and citizens.

“It is incredible to see our vision in action and to have experiments, that have been created by our very own students, launched into space by NASA,” stated Downey Unified Superintendent, Dr. John Garcia. “This is a tremendous example of our students being globally competitive.”

For more information about Cubes in Space, visit or