February 23: The Istituto Statale di Istruzione Superiore in Empoli, Italy hosted an ARISS radio contact for students with Koichi Wakata; he answered 15 questions. A large crowd of 360 attended the contact event, and the school livestreamed it for over 1,500 other students, parents, and the public who were watching. Media representatives came from TG3 Nazionale, La Nazione, Toscana Radio, Radio Lady, and Orme Radio. The school curriculum features Liceo Scientifico, a 5-year STEM program of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and earth science and provides courses and instruction in lab facilities for applied sciences including computer science. The institute continues to partner with the Italian Radioamateur Association of Empoli.

February 24: ARISS educator Diane Warner and a colleague gave a presentation during the STEAM Live session at the Ohio Afterschool Network‘s (OAN) 6th annual Best Foot Forward Conference in Powell, OH. The 83 session participants got the chance to try out STEAM materials that Diane’s group, Afterschool Programs of Lancaster (OH), utilizes with youth: Ozobots, Cubelets, 3D pens and more. Diane discussed the ARISS program and presented a portion of a video showing her group’s 2019 ARISS contact. All 300 OAN conference attendees received a booklet with details about each session, getting an introduction to ARISS. Additionally, Diane created an ARISS information sheet that she emailed to all participants. The statewide organization’s mission is “to promote high-quality afterschool and expanded learning opportunities for children and families.” 

March 7: NASA created a video for its social media platforms that tells the story of the ARISS contact on November 22, 2022 hosted by St. Joseph´s Convent Secondary School in Castries, Saint Lucia. The ARISS contact with Josh Cassada allowed students to join in the action from 63 schools in 12 nation states in the Caribbean and Central America. All schools had led educational activities promoted by the Disaster Fighters campaign, an initiative supported by the NASA Earth Science Applied Sciences Disaster program; the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (managed by the World Bank); and other organizations. The video features Cassada talking with students and links to the video at each platform are 

Johnson Space Center YouTube (home of space station content)

ISS Facebook

ISS Research Twitter (amplified by @Space_Station)

ISS Instagram (collab with @NASAEarth)

February 25: NASA invited ARISS’ social media leader, Jim Reed to attend a NASA Social Crew 6 launch event at Kennedy Space Center. During NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 Social Panel, Jim asked NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana and SpaceX Crew 3 NASA Commander Raja Chari if they would comment on their past experiences with SAREX and ARISS school radio contacts. Cabana said, “It allows us [astronauts] to reach a group of students and folks on the ground … it generates interest in science and engineering … that’s really cool!” Chari recognized the ARISS program as a “capstone project for students” and expressed his enjoyment of talking with Japanese students during an ARISS contact, stating it was “definitely a highlight!” He emphasized ARISS as an important backup communication system in case of a regular communication system failure. The URL of the video of the panel session is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aJb8YjwOk0 (Jim’s portion is at 14 minutes 15 seconds). In 11 days’ time the video garnered 1.3K views. 

February 26: At NASA’s Social Media event, ARISS social media leader Jim Reed was asked by the hosts of the YouTube Channel series “Keep Your Daydream” to do an interview.  He talked about ARISS in general and school radio contacts. One of the hosts showed her amazement about the program, saying, “That is the coolest thing ever!”  

February 23: ARISS thanks NASA EXPRESS for posting a blurb in its newsletter (going to 58,616 subscribers) about ARISS having opened a new window to accept ARISS Education proposals. NASA EXPRESS shares its information through the NASA Office of STEM Engagement’s social media to 399,720 Twitter followers, 105,093 Facebook flowers, and 495,116 Pinterest followers. The American Radio Relay ran the story in their online news platform for its 107,000 readers.

Feb. 21: ARISS leader Dave Taylor spoke via Zoom with members of the Skyview Radio Society in New Kensington, PA. He gave them a brief introduction to ARISS, then described development of the InterOperable Radio System, his part in development of the ARISS radio on the ISS, and what is involved in getting hardware approved to fly on the ISS. There were 29 attendees on Zoom and 26 in person at the clubhouse.

March 3-4-5: The ARISS Senior Leader Team traveled to Baltimore, MD or joined via GoToMeeting for a three-day meeting.  The team focus was strategic planning, and started off with a review and critique of the previous strategic plan that covered all aspects of ARISS. Next, the team listed items for the start of a draft of our future goals, talked about our great sponsors, and got an overview from Frank Bauer updating us on commercial space. Day two discussions included long-term goals for education, engineering and operations, back-up communications, and public relations. ARISS’s plans for our 40th anniversary events were further developed.  Day three topics covered thoughts on business development and short and long term sources, and ended with a lengthy discussion on all items raised for the drafted new strategic plan, and ranking these.

ARISS Social Media 

ARISS’ social media leader, Jim Reed reported these major highlights for February 2023:

  • surpassed 500,000 Impressions in a single month 
  • a Twitter post on the Empoli, Italy ARISS school contact garnered record Engagements—received 103,244 Impressions thanks to Koichi Wakata’s Quote-Tweet
  • post volume up 80% month to month due to the Orlando Hamcation convention and NASA Social events related to ARISS

February Social Media Top Posts and February Total Metrics and images 

  • Top Tweet – on upcoming Italian school contact: Impressions 103,244, Interactions / Engagements 375

      *Koichi Wakata quote-tweeted, which resulted in the huge numbers of Impressions!

  • Top Facebook Post – on part of ARISS’s display at Hamcation convention: Reaches / Impressions 11,962,  Engagements 495
  • Top Instagram Post – on part of ARISS’s display at Hamcation convention: Reach 518,  Interactions / Engagements 55
  • Top Mastodon Post – on the radio frequency to use to  listen to the ARISS radio: Interactions 21

Total Social Media Metrics for February 1-28, 2023:

  • ARISS Twitter – Total Impressions / Views 407,563,  Interactions / Engagements 7,876  
  • ARISS Facebook – Total Impressions 153,093,  Interactions / Engagements 9,623
  • ARISS Instagram – Total Reach 6,947,  Interactions / Engagements 833
  • Mastodon – Interactions / Engagements 248
  • LinkedIn…being ramped up – Impressions 1,086,  Reactions 46
  • ARISS YouTube – Total Subscribers 1.79k

ARISS Upcoming Events
Mar 23: Lana’I High & Elementary School, Lana’I HI – ARISS contact, ARISS-US Team