December 16: Two German schools, Technisches Bildungszentrum Mitte (TBZ Mitte) in Bremen and Carl Prueter Oberschule in Sulingen hosted an ARISS radio contact with Matthias Maurer. Each school set up a ham radio station and each school’s students asked 5 questions. 23 students and teachers gathered to view the action and 10 classrooms holding 214 people watched the livestream. Media coverage included Radio Bremen Hörfunk, Radio Bremen TV, and RTL Nord’s livestream. The schools offered three livestreams for anyone to watch. Students at TBZ Mitte developed and built the school’s ham radio system. Project manager Jan Benje said, “Our goal was to involve as many students as possible across the training school. The technical students built the bracket to hold the antenna, the antenna and the student-built antenna control system were developed by our information electronics engineers, and the aerospace engineers worked out the questions for students to ask. Not all students could be there so technician students streamed the event.” The new ham radio station can be used in classes to receive weather satellites and the school may set up ham radio courses with help from the German Amateur Radio Club.
December 10: K-8 students attending Savannah River Academy in Grovetown, GA interviewed Thomas Marshburn during their ARISS radio contact. He answered 20 questions. 117 students, 28 teachers, and 175 parents/guardians witnessed the event. US Congressman Rick Allen and Governor Brian Kemp sent the school congratulations letters. Students had enjoyed nearly a full year of a wide variety of STEM space and radio hands-on activities in preparation for their ARISS radio contact. Student Zion Newsome said, “I was in shock when first learning I would be able to ask questions of the space station’s occupants.” Media covering the events were The Augusta Chronicle (online video and article), The Augusta Press (online article), WRDW Channels 12 /26 (with video) and WJBF Channel 6 (with video).
December 16: ARISS educator Drew Deskur heads the Kopernik Observatory and Science Center in Vestal, NY. It was one of several US groups to become a NASA Informal Education Community Anchor and to receive the Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM II) Community Anchor Award. Funding from the Kopernik award is for its new Ready, Set, Go and Explore project targeting inner-city Binghamton Central Schools and rural Candor Central Schools. ARISS concepts are included in the new project’s curriculum. Kopernik hosts ARISS contacts at its summer camps. Regarding the TEAM II award, NASA Associate Administrator for STEM Mike Kincaid said, “NASA has bold, long-term goals, so it’s critically important that we reach students where they are, and create opportunities for them to experience those feelings of discovery and confidence that STEM engagement is really all about.”
December 13: Wolfgang-Kubelka-Realschule (WKR) in Schondorf am Ammersee, Germany sponsored an ARISS contact with Matthias Maurer who answered 14 student questions. 380 people witnessed the event–300 were students in school rooms watching the livestream. One radio station and one newspaper reporter attended. WKR is part of the MINT (STEM) network with focuses on computer science, technology, natural science, and math. Studies leading up to the ARISS contact included life on the ISS, satellites, ISS research, balloon launches with onboard radio transmitter, and visits to the German Aerospace Center Satellite Ground Station and Columbus Control Center.
December 10: Students at DLR_School_Lab (German Aerospace Center) Braunschweig in Germany talked with Matthias Maurer during their ARISS contact. Due to Covid, many students tied in from their homes. Maurer answered 19 student questions while 310 students and other viewers watched via a live stream, available at this link: https://youtu.be/0cGJuwnhaSI. In the months leading up to the ARISS contact, over 2,000 youth ages 11-18 participated in hands-on experiments in aeronautics, satellite navigation, energy, and ham radio communications and enjoyed a virtual spacewalk.
December 15: Frank Bauer and ARISS Education Director Kathy Lamont led an ARISS Webinar for Educators hosted by the ISS National Lab. Participants included 29 formal educators and 4 informal educators. The presentation covered how ARISS affects students, how ARISS STEM can be incorporated in classes, and how educators can submit education proposals for ARISS contacts. 100 had registered for the webinar and they will receive the URL for the recorded talk to watch at any time.
December 21: Berufliche Schule Direktorat 1 Nürnberg, in Nuremberg, Germany held an ARISS contact with Matthias Maurer; he answered 12 student questions. 21 educators and 187 students watched from various locations in the school via livestreaming. A newspaper reporter plans to prepare an article about the event. The school offers courses in electrical engineering, electronics information technology and mechatronics, with many classes held in workshops and industrial settings. Student activities include making amateur radio contacts and building circuit boards for electronic projects.
December 26-31: Worldwide ARISS team members put together another enormously popular ARISS SSTV (Slow Scan TV, picture downlinks) session for educators, students, space enthusiasts, shortwave listeners, and ham radio operators. Images related to Lunar explorations were downlinked from the ISS by Cosmonauts. Images offered were suggested by ARISS volunteers around the globe. 3,720 people have downloaded 15,528 images that they posted to the ARISS SSTV Gallery at: https://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/index.php.
December 23: ARISS educator Micol Ivancic and ARISS volunteer Fabrizio Carrai hosted an online webinar on how to receive ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) transmissions on December 27-31. 20 people viewed their presentation. A second webinar was held on the 27th during an actual ISS pass when the crew was downlinking images. This allowed 8 viewers to follow along in receiving and downloading SSTV signals and to look at each person’s resulting images.
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