January 26: After months of space and amateur radio lessons, students at Brentwood Elementary School of Engineering in Raleigh, NC got the opportunity to speak with Koichi Wakata who answered 20 questions.  Youth chosen to ask their questions earned the title from the school of Student Space Ambassador.  Those selected to escort visitors got the title “Student Event Ambassadors,” and the school band performed. 200 people attended, 2,623 watched the school’s two livestreams, and 1,102 watched a recording. Anne Weiss of the NASA Office of STEM Engagement, Langley Research Center, described various NASA careers to students. ARRL NC Liaison Chuck DeCourt presented an achievement plaque to the school and spoke about communications-related careers. JPL Solar System Ambassador Tony Rice gave a STEM talk and later posted Brentwood photos on Twitter, garnering 255 views.  The ARISS contact generated 18 media hits including a rolling ticker on the bottom of the screen of CBS 6 AM Good Morning America announcing “Students at Raleigh’s Brentwood Magnet Elementary School of Engineering to speak with astronauts aboard International Space Station.”  CBS-17 wrote this: “Fifth-grader Timothy Gaetz learned a lot about life in space for astronauts. ‘You get to use robotics, and you do science experiments and you get to stay up there for about a year or so,’ Gaetz said.”  Raleigh’s The News Observer story ran this quote:  “’It’s really, really special,’ said Mae Ryals, 8, a third-grader who was chosen to ask questions. ‘My teacher said this was like a once in a million years chance. It was just amazing that I got picked for this.’” An ABC-TV video and story is at


January 27: For the 2023 Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC) scheduled on February 9–11 at Space Center Houston, TX, five educators from the ARISS-US Education Committee will support ARISS activities.  They’ll present ARISS’ Student and Teacher Education via Radio Experimentation & Operations (STEREO) and its Teaching the Teacher activity, leading STEM-related forums and staffing an ARISS booth. The booth will offer teachers hands-on experiences with ARISS teaching tools including the STEREO/SPARKI Radio Kit.

January 20-21: ARISS Director of Engineering Randy Berger presented ARISS programs during both days at the Cowtown Hamfest in Forest Hills, TX. The first covered ARISS’ current projects along with future initiatives. The second forum introduced listeners to ARISS and explained how to determine ISS pass times and how to listen for ARISS activities tied to the amateur radio station on board. He described future ARISS educational and technological endeavors. Randy reported about 30 attending the forums and that he spoke with 100 people who came by the ARISS exhibit table. On day 2 they packed the booth, attracted to “…the sounds my hand-held ham radio transmitted when sending Slow Scan TV (picture links) and the tones from my CubeSat model sending telemetry to my cell phone to decode. It became a game for folks pulling out their phones and iPads…” [to decode the images and telemetry].

ARISS Social Media 

ARISS’ social media leader, Jim Reed set up ARISS on Mastodon and began regularly posting in January for a total of 22.  He began plans to revive ARISS’ LinkedIn platform.

January Social Media Top Posts and January Total Metrics and images  

  • Top Tweet – on upcoming school contact: Impressions 67,043, Interactions/Engagements 236; *Koichi Wakata quote-tweeted it, thanking the school, which launched us to such a high interaction number, the highest for a single ARISS post in the last 4 months!
  • Top Facebook Post – on upcoming school contact: Reaches/Impressions 5,743,  Engagements 158
  • Top Instagram Post – on changing our user name: Reach 255,  Interactions/Engagements 38
  • Top Mastodon Post – on thanking followers—earning 500 in our 1st month of posting!   Interactions 22

Total Social Media Metrics for the month, January 1-31 2023:

  • ARISS Twitter – Total Impressions/Views 170,752,  Interactions/Engagements 3,355  
  • ARISS Facebook – Total Impressions 60,609,  Interactions/Engagements 2,075
  • ARISS Instagram – Total Reach 2,725,  Interactions/Engagements 361
  • Mastodon –     Interactions/Engagements 99
  • ARISS YouTube – Total Subscribers 1.75k

ARISS Upcoming Events
Feb 7: Cache County School District, Millville, UT – ARISS contact, ARISS-US Team