September-January: The Lewis Center for Educational Research in Apple Valley, CA has been sponsoring months of student STEM activities leading up to their ARISS radio contact on January 31. (All the results of their ARISS contact will be in next week’s report.)  Lewis Center educators developed 30-minute weekly lessons to engage K-5 students in all classes at the Academy for Academic Excellence and the Norton Science & Language Academy. Youth enjoyed many hands-on activities; two were Kennedy Space Center lessons, “Rocket Fuel Scientific Process,” testing various chemical reactions for launching rockets; and “Heat Shield Engineering,” students designing heat shields to protect their “choconaut,” and testing those with a hair dryer. Also, students simulated working in space gloves during an EVA by wearing puffy winter gloves while manipulating floral wire, nails, and screws on foam pieces. They will do NASA SCaN’s Whisper in Space and Line of Sight activities, and learn about ARISS communications. Area ARISS team members provided students with ham radio demos, presentations, and activities.

January 25: The Space Hardware Club (SHC) members at University of Huntsville, AL will host an ARISS contact for area middle schools; young students will be directly involved in the radio contact. In preparation, the undergrads led STEM-based activities at the middle schools. In an October weekly report, SHC members were highlighted for teaching basic rocketry to Buckhorn Middle School students in New Market who then built and launched their own model rockets. In November the undergrads helped Sparkman Middle School students in Toney to launch a high altitude balloon with a ham radio payload for tracking and analyzing the data. Now in January, these youngsters and undergrads are all looking forward to more activities and their mid-April ARISS contact.

December 31: ARISS is seeing more educators and youth take part in ARISS Slow Scan (SSTV) events. The December 2021 session caught the interest of five-year-old Mario Vazquez in Spain while he sat with his father at their home ham station.  Mario’s excitement piqued watching an ARISS transmission slowly form into an image on the computer screen. Afterwards, the two sent their download to the online ARISS SSTV Gallery, which qualified them to receive a diploma from the ARISS team in Poland. The father wrote, “Mario is five and wants to be an astronaut. The activity and the diploma have been a boost! He has been talking about ARISS all month at school … we cannot wait for the next ARISS SSTV transmissions. Meantime we are playing with NOAA and Meteor M2 satellites.”

ARISS awarded 3,911 SSTV diplomas to December participants requesting them. A podcast host who offered a set of December YouTube tutorials on the ARISS SSTV event garnered 44k viewers. Comments that a few left include: “I want to get my grandkids involved in this.”  “You’ve motivated me to try it!”  “My antenna is only 10’ off the ground and the ISS wasn’t even directly overhead–it was on the outer edge, and I still downloaded a good image.”

January 17: ARISS garnered a media hit in Dakota State University’s (DSU) “News 2022.” The online story, titled “Inspiring Students through Volunteer Work,” described an ARISS volunteer mentoring Savannah River Academy students throughout many months of 2021 on STEM lessons prior to their ARISS radio contact. The ARISS volunteer is a DSU cybersecurity doctoral student. The article quotes a Savannah River Academy’s science teacher noting that as young students gained more knowledge about space, their questions got more technical. She said: “I could really see the progression.” The URL is:

January 20:  Regarding another media hit, readers may recognize the photo in the screenshot. The photo was in a late November 2021 ARISS weekly report on Tecumseh (OK) students designing, developing and building a light-box project that lit up the ISS’ path across the Midwest during their ARISS contact. SCaN asked ARISS to ensure the high school knew about SIP interns. Several weeks later, the Countywide & Sun, an online Tecumseh news outlet featured a story on how NASA enjoyed learning about the light-box project. (Only subscribers can read the full story.)

ARISS Social Media

Top Tweet in January – 4,162 Impressions

ARISS Upcoming Events   

February 2 Amur State University, Blagoveshchensk Russia, ARISS contact, ARISS-Russia Team
February 3-5 Space Exploration Educators Conference, ARISS Forum, ARISS-US Team
February 4 Johannes-Kepler Gymnasium, Lebach, Germany, ARISS contact, ARISS-Europe Team
February 11-13 ARRL National Convention, Orlando FL, exhibit & forum, ARISS-US Team