I recently found an email that slipped through the cracks after World Maker Faire in Nov. 2016. Below is the email I received, followed by my reply.
I saw your Kickstarter and fell in love with the idea of a satellite simulator. I’m sad to see that your Kickstarter campaign will probably will not get funded. This is ok because you can learn from it and move on. I believe the failure of the campaign is because no one knows what exactly to do with it. The like the idea but their is no resources for classroom activities and resources for the teachers. I would suggest before moving on to another campaign, work on the supplemental materials for classroom activities. See http://finchrobot.com as example.
Thank you for this email. Finding your message now is timely in that I will be attending a STEM expo at Solley elementary later this week. I appreciate your feedback and had considered the simplicity of an application similar to Snap! as a programming interface.
I whole heatedly agree and time and again I have been asked, “What can you do with it?” I recently sold 5 kits to Catylator Makerspace, who is also hosting SilverSat, a team of students (w/parents guiding them) who are going to build a cubesat and launch it into space. I spent over an hour assisting 5 teams of three middle school students to assemble their Cosmoneers. I will be working closely with Catylator going forward to develop lessons for these young students and will be factoring in their lack of coding abilities. Let me tell you, the time I spent with them was invaluable and taught me more than I have learned to date about this segment of my target audience.
As for the KickStarter, while it failed it also succeeded. It let me know people are interested and that I need to focus on the issue you pointed out. It also forced me into updating the website and setting up a discussion forum and putting together a complete kit, which then led to the sale to Catylator Markerspace. With that sale I was able to obtain an injection molder and have been focusing on further refinements of the Cosmoneer so that it is easy to assemble. I am about 90% where I want to be with the design and will be moving on to the resource issue you pointed out.
I have already begun offering for sale barebones kits (http://cosmospioneering.com/product/barebones-cosmoneer-proto-kit/) for die-hard tinkerers who want to build a Cosmoneer. The 3D printable shapes are on Thingiverse, the assembly instructions are on Instructables and the source-code and circuit bear schematics are on Github. Once I have learning resources, I will begin posting PDF files on our website and videos on YouTube
Cubesat Knowledge Goes Public
New! Cosmoneer Proto Thingiverse and Instructable accounts