The table was littered with cords and wires, batteries and circuit boards.
Last week, all of this technology was still on the earth's surface -- and in the hands of South Charleston High School students -- but in a few months, much of it will take a trip to the edge of outer space.
By launch time, in the spring of this year, all these parts will have been assembled and programmed by the high school students, made into two near space satellites carrying equipment to measure weather and environmental conditions.
They'll be launched and travel up to 100,000 feet above the earth's surface before they float back to earth with the help of a parachute. Hopefully, all of it will be recorded and streamed online, so the students and community can experience the experiment in real time.
This is all part of a new pilot project at South Charleston High, a partnership between the school's computer science teacher, Joe Oliver, and Jeff Imel, a local businessman and engineer.
Imel founded Air Robotics, a Charleston-based company that designs and builds small, unmanned aircraft, or drones. He came to that after a childhood interested in technology.
One day, when he was 14, Imel decided he wanted to be an amateur radio operator.
"So I walked around the neighborhood looking for a house that had all those funny looking antennas," he said. "And when I found one, I walked up to the front door and said, 'I think you might be an amateur radio operator. I want to be one too.'"
That started a five-year mentorship that set the trajectory for the rest of Imel's life. Now, he's trying to repay the favor.
He and Oliver got together through their wives, who are friends, and Imel proposed the idea of the satellite project. Oliver went for it immediately, no hesitation.
"This is where learning becomes fun," Oliver said. "There's so much to learn, and I love the challenge ... I just feed off of that, and the students feed off of it."
It is a challenge. The work they're going to be doing is work typically reserved for undergraduates on the college level. But Imel and Oliver -- and the students -- are confident they can do it.