February 9: Students at Sterling Middle School in Ashburn, VA had a successful ARISS radio contact with Shannon Walker; students were tied in from home through the ARISS ground station in Belgium. Walker answered 20 student questions as 350 viewers watched a YouTube livestream connection; it is at: https://youtu.be/qVhBweqjCo4.  Within two days, another 1,723 people had viewed the video. A recording was posted at the school district web site along with the NASA infographic about ARISS, details on students participating in a balloon launch and tracking its ham radio payload, and STEM activities that Sterling Park Amateur Radio Club members had mentored. Youth had learned coding, robotics, radio waves and communications, astronomy, STEM in 30 lessons, and were especially interested in the Artemis Mission. The school had involved students from two other area schools: Sterling Elementary School and Guilford Elementary School.

February 10: Red Hill Lutheran School in Tustin, CA sponsored an ARISS radio contact with Mike Hopkins who answered 21 questions. The school’s audience of 300 followed CDC Covid guidelines while other students were home asking questions relayed by an ARISS ground station in Oregon. The contact, livestreamed for the public, garnered 382 views and three days later, another 1,301 views. The URL is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhfWvzOtnQM. Minutes before the contact, a video featured students highlighting their STEAM projects done as prep for their ARISS contact—the school uses California Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards and electives are robotics, computer programming, and 3-D printing. Prior to Covid, ARISS volunteers had helped 210 students and their teachers to do ham radio contacts and experiment with Raspberry Pi.  Media hits included a story aired by Los Angeles KABC-TV and also posted on its web site, and an Orange County Register newspaper article, which is at:  https://www.ocregister.com/location/california/orange-county/tustin/  

February 5: The Ottawa Carleton Virtual Online School, one of the Ottawa Carleton District schools in Ontario, Canada hosted an ARISS radio contact with Mike Hopkins. Students at 17 district schools had been involved and one student from each school asked a question. They were conferenced in from home via a Zoom session tied to an ARISS ground station relaying their communication to the ISS. An audience of 893 viewed the contact live via a YouTube stream, and 24 hours later, another 3,565 watched. The URL is: https://youtu.be/Ery1JYmk72o. Media included pre- and post-contact stories by the Ottawa Citizen newspaper and CTV TV’s posted story and TV clip, which was carried across Canada—even in Edmonton, AB; the URL is: https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=2134102&binId=1.1487308&playlistPageNum=1

A school board member wrote: “The students were entranced this morning and one of our teachers has reported that many have asked a lot of great questions about it this afternoon.”

February 3: The Bishop Guertin High School has an upcoming ARISS contact and students had generated so many good questions that not all could possibly be answered by the astronaut. Students in the STEM Club decided to help solve that problem by preparing a video to use as part of the programming on the day of the ARISS contact. In the video, they provide answers to nine questions that there would be no time to answer. Three students in the video have earned their ham radio license.  The URL is: https://vimeo.com/508990133/9f8ea41659

January 29: The Savannah River Academy in Grovetown, GA has an upcoming ARISS radio contact. The school’s Facebook page announced the contact by posting an eye-catching graphic. ARISS-US Education Committee member Martha Muir shared this quote from the school’s lead ARISS educator: “They are all very excited about their upcoming ARISS contact.”

February 9: ARISS-US leader John Kludt gave a presentation on ARISS to members of the Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society, a club in metro Atlanta, GA.  He spoke on what it took to design, develop, and build the ARISS radio station that was first operational on the ISS in September 2020 and a little about the current ISS crew operating the radio system.

February 13-14: The popular annual convention, Florida Hamcation had three speakers who are members of the ARISS-US Education Committee.  More details will be available for next week’s report.

January 21:  ARISS leaders Kathy Lamont and John Kludt led an ARISS Orientation Webinar for 31 educators and a number of ARISS educators and volunteers from around the US.  This session was for educators whose schools were selected for an ARISS contact because their ARISS Education Proposals were so excellent.  The ARISS contacts will be held between July and December 2021.

Upcoming Events

February 15: Bishop DJ O’Connell High School students of ARISS educator Melissa Pore will participate in a Zoom session hosted by the University of Southern Maine as its formal kick-off to its CubeSat Design Competition.

February 15: Rosalie White will present a Zoom talk on the ARISS mission to 14 amateur radio clubs associated with Boeing companies around the US.

February 19Students at Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, NH will hold an ARISS contact with Shannon Walker.