October 27: Students at Tarwater Elementary School in Chandler, AZ talked with Shane Kimbrough as the ISS passed overhead. In the school’s open-air stage venue, students asked 14 questions while 35 visitors watched. Forty-four educators and 755 other students engaged via the livestream seen in each classroom.  US Senator and Astronaut Mark Kelly and Chandler School District Administrator “Commander” Frank Narducci, wearing a Space Camp jumpsuit, gave rousing greetings in a pre-recorded school video shown just before the ARISS contact began. The livestream at the event garnered 252 views; a recording got 754 views within a week. The fifth grade curriculum focused on space and space exploration. All other classes engaged in hands-on NASA and amateur radio lessons in the STEM Lab with assistance from the area NXP Amateur Radio Club. 

November 8: Astronaut Eileen Collins gave ARISS a shout-out in her new memoir, Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars. Here’s the quote:

“Astronauts love SAREX, the Space Amateur Radio Experiment program. (We call it ARISS these days, for Amateur Radio on the ISS.) We use ham radio technology to communicate with school students on Earth. It’s highly motivational for the astronauts, as we get to take a break from our other tasks and talk with children from across the country who are interested in space. And, of course, the students enjoy speaking with astronauts in space! The sessions have to be tightly scheduled, as we are only within communications range of a participating school for about ten minutes.

“When we reached the appropriate time in our schedule for my first session, I called down to the school. (My call sign was KD5EDS.) Despite repeated calls, my voice wasn’t going through. Ten minutes came and went without my being able to connect, and then we were out of range. I knew the students on the ground were disappointed they couldn’t talk to us. I went back over the checklist. I discovered that I’d missed a step and left a circuit breaker open.”

Collins then wrote that NASA was able to re-schedule the school contact not long afterward and it was a huge success!

October 28: ARISS teacher Joanne Michael from Wiseburn Unified School District in El Segundo, CA presented a talk tied to ARISS at the 2021 National Science Teachers Association’s Area Conference on Science in Portland, OR.  Her topic, titled “Capturing Students’ Wonder & Curiosity Using Amateur Radio,” introduced 40 educators to how aspects of amateur radio can enhance STEM curriculum. During her presentation, Joanne, wearing the perfect outfit…printed with Morse code dots and dashes, gave examples of what excites her students and described her ARISS school contact. Near the end of the forum, she led educators in building small electronic kits to take home—their own Morse code keys for students to try in class. One educator wrote:  “I’m inspired to research radio opportunities in my local area. For inquiry lesson ideas in engineering, code, and the science behind high altitude balloons I am excited to hopefully get a MAB opportunity going for my middle school students.” 

November 2-6: ARISS educator Melissa Pore participated in the 2021 American Society for Gravitational and Space Research Meeting in Baltimore, MD.  She helped staff the ISS National Lab exhibit booth, who sponsored her attendance.  As visitors came by, including many aerospace professionals, Melissa told them about ARISS and other ISS National Lab programs. She networked with exhibitors, including NASA SCaN, and took part in two education committee meetings.

October 29-30: On Friday, ARISS-US Delegate Dave Taylor reported to the AMSAT-North America (AMSAT-NA) Board of Directors on the status of the ARISS program. At the 2021 AMSAT-NA Symposium the following day, he presented an overview to the general membership and attendees from around the world, of the myriad of 2021 ARISS activities and plans for the future. Both meetings were held via Zoom and shared with additional viewers on YouTube (within a week, 620 views).  Also on Saturday, Frank Bauer presented a Symposium presentation.  He spoke about new ARISS education initiatives and hardware. He described two grants that ARISS won recently for major educational activities, and also a grant proposal that ARISS has submitted for even more educational activities to sponsor. A Q&A for Dave and Frank followed their talks.

September 11: The chair of the ARRL-ARISS Committee Mark Tharp from Washington state and AMSAT volunteer Craig Bledsoe from Alaska gave a talk on ARISS and satellites at the Matanuska 2021 Hamfest, in Big Lake, Alaska. Fifteen informal educators attended. The presentation covered ARISS activities, how to track ham satellites, and the ISS’s ARISS radio. The audience moved outdoors for a demonstration of actually making satellite ham radio contacts using a handheld radio and antenna.

Social Media

Facebook October 2021

ARISS Facebook: As of October 30, 2021, Facebook followers totaled 7,055, a slightly increase over September.   
ARISS Twitter: As of October 30, 2021, Twitter followers totaled 15,459, a gain over September.
ARISS Instagram: As of October 30, 2021, Instagram Followers totaled 354.
ARISS YouTube: As of October 30, 2021, YouTube subscribers totaled 1.57k, a slight gain over September.

October’s Highest Performing ARISS Facebook Post—the week of 8th-14th

This popular ARISS Facebook post featured a successful ARISS contact for three collaborating French schools and featured a photo from one, Institut Universitaire de Technologie in Carquefou. 

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