February 9–11: The annual Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC) at Space Center Houston (TX) had six ARISS team members engaging teachers and youth at the ARISS table and two forums.  They handed out ARISS flyers, and answered questions about ARISS radio contacts and ARISS education programs, letting teachers try out some of the programs’ teaching tools. On day 2, ARISS educator Joanne Michael said, “We had 75 teachers engaged during my booth time and hundreds of students came by.”  Booth staff included Gina Kwid, Joanne, Dan Vasen, and ARISS team member Kenneth Ransom. They spoke to over 400 educators and 200 students and Melissa Pore at the CASIS table answered questions about ARISS and classroom STEM projects. Gina presented two forums that directly tied to ARISS. “Space Science Exploration Using STEM Tools” garnered 25 listeners, and the second forum, “Talk with an Astronaut via an ARISS Contact,” co-led by Beth Bivens, had 26 listeners. Melissa Pore gave three forums that included information about ARISS.

February 10-12: Eleven ARISS team members traveled to the Orlando (FL) HamCation, the 2nd largest gathering in the U.S. of ham operators, typically drawing 20,000 radio enthusiasts from around the world. The ARISS booth staff engaged with over 600 attendees; some were educators, some were youth, and all ages of people stopped by. The exhibit featured ARISS hardware, flyers about ARISS school contacts, and information and items from ARISS’ hands-on education programs being developed to spark student interest in STEM. The displayed program items allowed students and teachers to try out the ARISS education tools. ARISS held a forum, which was a panel session presenting current and future ARISS initiatives—hardware and education programs–to 56 listeners. Afterwards, many stopped by the booth to ask a lot of questions and commented happily that ARISS was developing wonderful STEM education opportunities of all types. One of the booth staff, new ARISS team member Diana Schuler, now the ARISS STEREO program manager (Student and Teacher Education via Radio Experimentation and Operations), got a good understanding of things people want to know about STEREO.

February 5: In the village of Dinskaya, in the Dinsky district in Russia, students from the Secondary School No. 2 named after A.V. Suvorov with the Center for Children’s Creativity took part in About Gagarin from Space lessons and carried out an ARISS contact. Mission Control Center-Moscow scheduled the contact and 20 students and teachers spoke with Anna Kikina.

February 8: Students at Colegio Diocesano Santa María Nuestra Señora in Écija, Spain took part in an ARISS contact with Josh Cassada who answered 16 student questions with an audience of 200.  Area schools that had engaged students in ARISS STEM activities, also, watched the livestream—10 Diocese schools and 9 public schools.  Media reps covering the event came from national TV1, regional Canal Sur TV, local TVC Écija Comarca TV, a press agency, and two online news services; the three TV stations claimed over 250,000 viewers. The school’s livestream garnered 900 views and after 6 days, the YouTube totaled 1,600; it is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nYFP7qzUtk.  The ARISS ground station in Italy livestreamed their action, too, with 318 views.  In preparing for the contact, students ages 3-16 researched space exploration, created models of planets, received radio communications instruction from the national Union of Spanish Radio Amateurs, and engaged in ESA/European Space Education Resource Office projects.

February 13: Youth from the GBOU secondary school No. 547 of the Krasnoselsky district of St. Petersburg, Russia engaged in lessons from the About Gagarin from Space initiative and then took part in an ARISS contact. During the event, which was supported by ARISS-Russia, 25 students spoke with crew member Sergey Prokopyev.

February 4: Students of Aznakayevo in the Republic of Tatarstan in Russia participated in an ARISS radio contact under the About Gagarin from Space program. The contact allowed children of limited capabilities to be engaged, also. The youth contacted Dimitri Petelin.

ARISS Upcoming Events
Feb. 23:  Istituto Statale di Istruzione Superiore, Empoli, Italy-ARISS contact, ARISS-Europe Team