January 11: ARISS-USA leaders Executive Director Frank Bauer and Director of Education Tanya Anderson gave a talk in an education workshop at the 2024 AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) Science and Technology Forum and Exposition in Orlando, FL. The professional development presentation to K-12 STEM educators and AIAA members featured ARISS 2.0—New Vision for Inspiring and Educating the Next Generation. In addition to the school radio contacts with astronauts that ARISS is known for, Frank and Tanya described the ARISS SPARKI Kit and demonstrated some of its education tools that teachers use in classrooms. The kit helps introduce students to space, electronics, and radio. Frank and Tanya discussed ARISS STEM initiatives with their goal of allowing students to interact with educational experiments to be launched on the ISS.  The AIAA workshop coordinator said: “It was fantastic to hear firsthand about the great opportunities and the world you’re opening up through ARISS, for teachers and students.”  ARISS educator Jackie Blumer, host of a 2011 ARISS contact at Greenville (IL) Elementary School, also gave a workshop talk: “Limitless Horizons: Unveiling Opportunities in Aerospace Education.”  

January 4: ARISS volunteer Dave Jordan presented a talk about the ARISS program to the Lake Monroe Amateur Radio Society (LMARS) in Winter Springs, FL. He opened the presentation explaining to 35 members—including some educators–that ARISS connects students with astronauts on the ISS via ham radio and he conveyed how schools get chosen for the contacts through a competitive education proposal process. He told new LMARS members that the club mentored five schools and two children’s hospitals with their ARISS contacts. He ended his talk by showing charts about ARISS’ upcoming 40-year anniversary conference, Celebrating the Positive Impact of Amateur Radio on Human Spaceflight, in February at Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex.  

January 9: ARISS announced that Will Marchant was appointed by Frank Bauer to be Director of Operations for ARISS-USA. Will, a dedicated ARISS team mate, supported ARISS and SAREX for over 30 years in many different roles, such as Technical Mentor, first ARISS Operations Leader, and since its inception, the ARISS SSTV Gallery where space enthusiasts post ARISS SSTV images they download from the ISS (https://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/). He retired recently from a stellar aerospace career and continues to inspire students in STEM by being an advocate of events where among other things, kids launch rockets, such as the NASA Student Launch program, and he’s a Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education Member. Recently, he engaged a school visiting the Winchester (VA) STARBASE Academy for its Department of Defense STEM program that aims to engage “our nation’s at-risk youth” in inquiry-based hands-on STEM.

ARISS Upcoming Events  
Jan 22: IC Statale Villa Guardia, Villa Guardia Italy-ARISS contact, ARISS-Europe Team
Jan 24: IC Istituto Comprensivo, Gioiosa Marea, Italy-ARISS contact, ARISS-Europe Team
Feb 22 – 24: Human Spaceflight Amateur Radio: 40th Anniversary Celebration, KSC Ctr for Space Education, Titusville FL—ARISS conference/gala, ARISS-I Team