January 11: ARISS-US Education Committee member Neil Rapp won the national 2021 Carole Perry Educator of the Year Award. For 19 years, he has sponsored the Bloomington High School South Ham Radio Club while teaching science at this school in Bloomington, IN. In past years, he garnered the ARRL Professional Educator of the Year Award and Indiana Amateur of the Year Award and sponsored a Shuttle Amateur Radio EXperiment contact for his students.  

January 5: Students at Sterling Middle School in Ashburn, VA are ready for their ARISS contact in February. They enjoyed tracking a virtual mid-altitude balloon launch and teachers plan to tie this to lessons on air pressure. Students designed an ARISS mission patch and participated in a space colony challenge, planning its mission and a colony motto. They engaged in Udar Hazy STEM in 30 lessons. Each youth had submitted a question they would want to ask an astronaut; students voted on the best two questions from each grade level. They studied ham radio communications and how this will work for their ARISS contact.

January 6: Lydia Bennett took part in an ARISS contact while in middle school and is now a high school junior. During the years In between, she earned her ham license and kept in touch with her middle school teacher Martha Muir who is on the ARISS-US Education Committee. This summer Lydia gave a virtual AIAA district conference poster talk on her ARISS experience. The ISS National Lab (INL) took note of her poster talk and asked her to write a blog for their online site ISS360. She did so and the blog is now live at: https://www.issnationallab.org/blog/ariss-lydia-bennett-saint-francis-high-school/  She plans to take an engineering class her senior year.

January 11: The ARISS Award Committee distributed 4,675 certificates to ham operators and the general public who posted images they downloaded during the December 2020 ARISS SSTV session. Once people post an image to the ARISS SSTV Gallery, they can request a certificate. The event commemorated 20 years of ARISS success. 

January 1: Catherine Deskur took part in an ARISS contact at the Kopernik Observatory and Science Center in Vestal, NY in 2015 and a few months beforehand, had earned her ham radio license.  She said her most memorable ham radio contact was when acting as control operator for the ARISS contact. Now she attends Harvard University and The New England Conservatory seeking degrees in computer science and double bass performance. She earned the Girl Scouts Gold Award for her project to inspire girls to follow STEM careers. Because of her continuing interest in STEM, she recently garnered a scholarship from a ham radio organization.  

January 13: The Oswaldo Guayasamín School of Basic Education in the Galapagos–Santa Cruz Island, Ecuador hosted an ARISS contact, described in last week’s report. School leaders wrote that the video posted on the school Facebook page about the ARISS contact got 10,860 Likes, 3,962 Loves, 166 Cares, 247 Comments, and 3,200 Shares. This was thousands of times higher than for anything posted in the past.

January 13: Students at Shigagakuen Junior & Senior High School in Higashioumi, Japan experienced a successful ARISS school contact with Shannon Walker. Details about the day’s events will be available soon. 

Upcoming Events 

January 20: Students at Hisagi Junior High School in Zushi, Japan will have an ARISS radio contact with Shannon Walker supporting.

January 21: Maine Regional School in Kennebunk, Maine is hosting an ARISS contact for students. Mike Hopkins will support this radio contact.