February 8-10: ARISS-US Education Committee members Gina Kwid and Clint Thomsen set up and staffed a booth at the Space Exploration Educators Conference held at Space Center Houston in Houston, TX.  They spoke with 180 attendees who teach in grade levels spanning K-16 and leaders from science museums, libraries, and STEM camps. These included the director of the US Air Force Academy Planetarium who is interested in submitting an ARISS Education Proposal, people from the Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium, and different staffers from the NASA Office of STEM Engagement.

February 9: The School of Telecommunications Engineering (ETSIT) in Valencia, Spain held a successful ARISS contact for students with Loral O’Hara; she answered eight questions. Prior to the contact, numerous speakers gave STEM presentations to the audience of over 170.  Media covering the contact included “A Punt,” a public broadcast station.  A few days after the contact, livestream views topped 1,000. In preparation for the contact, ETSIT had mentored teachers from eight area schools in a two-year course titled Space for Kids, How to Design and Build a Nanosatellite. Teachers integrated the lessons for 160 students into their own established classes, such as Access to Space and the Space Environment, Satellite Communications, and Satellite Mission Design.

February 9-11: A team of ARISS volunteers had a presence at the Orlando (FL) HamCation, the 2nd largest convention for ham radio enthusiasts in the world—~ 20,000 attendees. The team’s booth displayed several ARISS educational projects under development and the team discussed these and the ARISS program with 587 people. ARISS Director of Engineering Randy Berger and ARISS leader for social media Jim Reed presented a forum to 32 people on projects being developed for ARISS educational applications and for future ISS and lunar initiatives. Jim covered social media metrics and what to watch for on the platforms, and ran a video produced and aired by The NBC TODAY Show of a recent ARISS contact in Pennsylvania. The forum ended with a question and answer session.  

February 5: Dan White, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Valparaiso (IN) University and an ARISS-US Education Committee member earned the Michael V. Carano Teacher Excellence Award from the IPC Education Foundation, an arm of IPC, an international electronics manufacturing standards organization. An article in the university e-newsletter explained that the award exemplifies Professor White’s dedication to learning and thriving, two pillars of the university’s five-year strategic plan, and cited his being on ARISS’ education committee. He operates the university’s Wireless Research and Electronic Discovery Lab where students receive hands-on experience in satellite, microchip, and radio engineering projects, including the design and construction of a CubeSat.  Valparaiso University Dean of the College of Engineering Doug Tougaw stated, “We’re very pleased that Professor White’s excellent work was recognized by IPC. He brings a remarkable level of expertise and passion to the college, and his students’ lives are changed by the work they do with him.” 

ARISS Upcoming Events

Feb 22: Girl Scout Troop 1089, Sacramento CA-ARISS contact, ARISS-US Team
Feb 22-24: Human Spaceflight Amateur Radio: 40th Anniversary Celebration, KSC Center for Space Education, Titusville FL—ARISS conference/gala, ARISS-I Team