February 23: Students sporting ARISS t-shirts at Sussex County Charter School for Technology in Sparta, NJ were anxious hearing a countdown to calling Mark Vande Hei on the radio. Hearing his voice, they cheered loudly and during the ARISS contact he answered 14 questions. 765 people watched at the school or via the live stream, and 24 hours later, the recording got 1,190 views. VIPs attending were Acting New Jersey Department of Education Commissioner Angelica Allen-McMillan, State Legislature Chief of Staff Brett Conrads, Sussex County Education Superintendent Gayle Carrick, and ARRL Directors Fred Kemmerer and Ria Jairam (assisting with the radios). Ham operators in the ISS footprint listened on their radios at home. A New Jersey Education Association crew taped the action and interviewed staff and students for a future feature, “Making the Grade.” Faculty had led students in hands-on physics activities on space weather, communications, solar cycles, ionospheric phenomena and effects on communication. Partnering on lessons were New Jersey Institute of Technology, Sussex County Technical School, and Sussex County Amateur Radio Club. Last June the school sponsored the first Radio STEM Camp and formed the Sussex County Charter School for Technology Amateur Radio Club (12 members) that works with the Society of Women Engineers. On Friday, ARISS posted a YouTube about Sussex’s ARISS STEM activities at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHlexJ-VZeU.
February 22: German students from Erasmus Gymnasium in Denzlingen and from Goethe Gymnasium in Freiburg held a successful ARISS contact with Matthias Maurer who answered 19 questions. The live stream garnered 230 views, and three days later 2,683 viewers had tuned in. The contact was streamed also over the QO-100 geostationary ham radio satellite. The schools hosted a multi-faceted several-hour event that showcased student STEAM activities, Maurer’s background, the schools’ and regions’ histories, area ham clubs’ support, and greetings from officials. A video presented Erasmus Gymnasium’s student studies on applied science and technology and Goethe Gymnasium’s physics courses covering electromagnetic waves, tech applications, math tools and other STEM activities. Media coverage included radio stations Radio Regenbogen, Baden.FM, Hitradio Ohr, Schwarzwaldradio and newspapers Badische Zeitung and Von Haus zu Haus.
February 10-12: ARISS-US Education Committee member Martha Muir, with several North Fulton Amateur Radio League members and an informal educator (who had led STEM lessons at an ARISS school) teamed up for an ARISS presence at the 2022 Georgia Science Teachers Association Conference. Educators came to Peachtree City from all over the state. The team staffed a table in the exhibit hall and set up a ham satellite station in the parking lot. In three days, they interacted with 300 teachers. Those stopping at the table were nudged to head outside to watch and take part in making satellite radio contacts. An educator who brought two elementary-age daughters saw her girls’ fascination with the moving ISS on the Geochron atlas and being thrilled when they made a satellite radio contact. Martha had been chosen to give a Thursday talk and Q&A; she described ARISS to a roomful of 27 teachers. Rachel was chosen for a Friday session; she spoke to 25 teachers on launching and garnering data from ham radio payloads on high-altitude balloons, lessons she had taught at an ARISS school. Martha also visited booths set up by teacher education colleges and science museums, generating interest in the upcoming ARISS proposal window opening.
February 17: The lead ARISS teacher at St Stephen’s Episcopal School in Houston, TX has a mast and an azimuth/elevation antenna rotator set up in the school’s lab for students to work with. The school will host an ARISS contact later in 2022. The teacher wrote: “The kids are really excited when they watch the antenna rotating. This week they used it to light up an LED with a Romex dipole antenna. They’re into it!”
February 17: ARISS Education Director Kathy Lamont wrote a blurb for NASA EXPRESS to announce a window opening by ARISS for educators to write and submit an ARISS-US Education and Contact Proposal. NASA EXPRESS went to 56,496 subscribers and was shared through the NASA Office of STEM Engagement’s social media tools to approximately 937,950 followers (NASA STEM Engagement Facebook, @NASASTEM Twitter, 429,847 NASA STEM Pinterest).
The ISS National Lab distributed a message on February 21 about the ARISS window opening to 1,500 people in the Space Station Explorers Ambassador program.
ARISS Upcoming Events
February 28 Carter Woodson Middle School, Hopewell VA ARISS contact, ARISS-US Team