An experiment created by middle school students at St. John’s Catholic School in Brunswick was selected to fly in the experimental sailplane Perlan Mission II to measure climate data this fall. Contributed / St. John’s Catholic School

St. John’s students’ work chosen for experimental flight

Middle school students at St. John’s Catholic School in Brunswick will be able to analyze flight data from an experiment they created that will fly in the Airbus Perlan Mission II this fall.

The Perlan Project, an aerospace nonprofit for advancing high-altitude flight and studying weather and climate change, and Teachers in Space challenged students across the U.S. to design and build experimental “CubeSats” to take measurements when the Perlan Mission II sailplane with no engine flies up to 90,000 feet in the fall. Experiments from eight schools in the country will fly with the plane.

The St. John’s students’ experiment is called “Atmosphere and Radiation Investigator.”

“The experiment is designed to help students better understand the variables that affect the human body while in flight,” said Karin Paquin, a science teacher at St. John’s. “Last spring, these students spent nine weeks exploring what it would take to build a colony on Mars. After researching many variables, students tested these through simulations with … software. Many still had questions that were unanswered about conditions in a closed environment.”

Last year, Paquin was selected as one of five teachers to participate in the Teachers in Space Human Flight Program, where she flew with a student-designed CubeSat on a microgravity flight in November 2022. Students at St. John’s analyzed data from this flight and redesigned their CubeSat experiments. In April, Paquin presented her students’ work at the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Learn more about the Perlan Project at


Aiden Francis, left, of Deering High School and Adelina Salianga of Casco Bay High School were selected for Bank of America’s Student Leaders paid internship program with local nonprofits. Contributed / Bank of America

Deering, Casco Bay seniors selected for Student Leaders internships

Two Maine high school seniors were selected for Bank of America’s Student Leaders program, an eight-week paid internship at local nonprofit organizations that helps students develop leadership and practical workforce skills.

Adelina Salianga of Casco Bay High School will intern at the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Maine. She is a co-founder of the Girls4Girls club, where women and girls discuss challenges they face together. She is also a leader of Youth Engagement Partners, a program bringing three Portland schools together to advocate for change in the school systems, and the treasurer of the Black Student Union at CBHS. She aspires to become an immigration lawyer.

Aidan Francis of Deering High School will intern at United Way of Southern Maine. He is president of the DHS Gender and Sexuality Alliance and treasurer of the school’s Model United Nations club. He has participated in the Maine Youth-Led Justice program and is interested in restorative justice programs.

The Student Leaders will travel to Washington, D.C., for a week-long national leadership summit focused on cross-sector collaboration, community advocacy and civic engagement.

Started in 2004, the Student Leaders program annually recognizes 300 juniors and seniors across the U.S.

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