NBCC student visits Canadian Space Agency as member of CubeSat team

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SAINT JOHN – Reaching for the stars is possible not just in the abstract but also in reality for one New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) learner.

Chris Toews, a first year Electronics Engineering Technology student at the Saint John Campus, is part of a team of New Brunswickers that is designing a mini satellite or CubeSat, with training from the Canadian Space Agency. A veteran of the Canadian military, Toews came to NBCC to retrain for a new career following a carpal tunnel diagnosis.

“I’ve done lots of different things with the military, but at no point did I ever expect that I would have the opportunity to go to the Canadian Space Agency in my first year of community college,” he said. “I’m really sort of in awe.”

Toews spent a week participating in training workshops at the Canadian Space Agency along with two students from the University of New Brunswick (UNB). The workshops provided them with the tools and skills to help them design their own CubeSat.

The Canadian CubeSat Project provides students with the opportunity to gain expertise in areas ranging from science and technology to communicating their work to the public. A team comprised of members from NBCC, UNB and the Universite de Moncton is one of 15 teams selected by the Canadian Space Agency to design a satellite that will be put into orbit in 2021.

Toew’s work on the project will be outside of his regular classroom curriculum at NBCC. It will be a challenge to fit it in around his classwork, but the benefits far outweigh the challenge.

“This is definitely going to aid me hugely when I get out into the workforce,” he said. “Learning about the different licensing procedures, building and testing components, everything that goes into building a satellite will help me for sure. And, my senior project has already been decided for me!”

With flexible educational programming that is responsive to the social and economic needs of the Province, New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) is a provincially-recognized public post-secondary institution reputed for producing skilled, knowledgeable graduates who are contributing to the Province’s prosperity. In addition to one- and two-year certificate and diploma programs, NBCC provides specialized and customized training to meet the needs of specific sectors and communities, and delivers apprenticeship training to more than 1,800 learners annually. Find out more by visiting www.nbcc.ca

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