February 13-17:  Kittredge Magnet School in Atlanta, GA, had students engaged in the ARRL’s (American Radio Relay League) School Club Roundup (SCR), an on-the-air operating event for US students throughout the third week of February.  Fifth grade science teacher Charamie DeMarco said her goal for students taking part in SCR wasn’t to win one of the competitive categories, but rather to introduce the kids to the fun of radio communications.  During the week all 478 fourth through sixth graders—24 classes—rotated through her classroom with its radio station. They enjoyed talking to ham radio operators while learning basic on-the-air radio communication skills. Charamie quipped, “When ‘cool’ sixth graders take the time to stop you the next day to say thank you and ask more questions about radio, that’s what I consider a success.”  She had led the school in hosting a 2020 ARISS contact, had also earned her ham radio license, and is on the ARISS-US Education Committee. 

March 7: Students at the Jumeirah College Dubai in Dubai, UAE spoke with Sultan AlNeyadi during their ARISS radio contact. He answered 17 questions before a crowd of 1,000 youth. Media reps attended and wrote stories—a Zawya.com item (also picked up by Gulf Today and MENAFN.com)and a Khaleej Times article.  See the stories with their nice photos at https://www.zawya.com/en/press-release/people-in-the-news/astronaut-sultan-al-neyadi-connects-with-jumeirah-college-students-live-from-space-up1tpgh4 and https://www.khaleejtimes.com/uae/it-was-a-rollercoaster-ride-to-space-says-uae-astronaut-sultan-alneyadi-to-students-in-dubai.  Two story quotes follow, one from Acting Principal Robert Kesterton: “I am sure his [AlNeyadi] inspiration will serve to fuel the aspirations of students.”  The second quote was from student Omar Morsi, age 13, who said that listening to AlNeyadi in space talking to them [students] will live with him forever, adding, “I also want to become an astronaut someday.”  Prior to the ARISS contact, the school invited representatives from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, the Al Thuraya Astronomy Center, and the UAE Space Agency to give presentations to students. The college hosted a science week for all students, as well.  Science teacher Christopher Greenfield wrote the proposal to request the hosting of the ARISS contact; his early teaching years included being director of education at the International Space School in Houston, TX with student activities tied to NASA Johnson Space Center. 

February 15: Council Rock High School in Holland, PA will host an ARISS contact in May 2023. The student ham radio club set up an engineering team of youth and technical advisors with students helping build antennas and making ham radio contacts on the radios that will be utilized for the ARISS contact.  The school ham club formed another team to do marketing on the ARISS event to the student body and the public. Youth created their own news releases and social media posts. Freshman and radio club co-president Taylor Arnosky prepared the news release and the Bucks County Herald used it to run an article; see https://buckscountyherald.com/stories/council-rock-south-students-headed-out-of-this-world-on-ham-radio,23213.

January-March: Lana’i High & Elementary School in Lana’I City, HI will host an ARISS contact in late March. The school’s lead ARISS teacher guided students in a year of related STEM lessons. She took youth on field trips—one to the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference in Wailea where they met astronaut Scott Altman and also did hands-on activities tied to astronomy, aeronautics, and space exploration. The teacher set up the elementary school science club that hosted two stargazing events for youth and parents. She worked with Ohana Kilo Hoku, a native Hawaiian non-profit group supporting astronomy and space programs, to host two more star parties with Stargazers of Hawaii and the University of Hawaii. Two amateur radio operators came to the school to give presentations on radio communications and the importance ham radio plays in emergencies when all other communications fail.  The Hawaii News Now produced a feature story on the school’s ARISS contact and quoted the lead teacher talking about ham radio: “This is our lifeline for getting ahold of emergency services and making sure that people are safe.” The article quoted a fifth grader who plans to ask the astronaut:  “What was one of their most exciting discoveries that they have made?” The story is at https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2023/03/14/out-this-world-lanai-kids-get-picked-live-qa-with-astronauts-international-space-station/.

March 11:  ARRL-ARISS Committee Chair Mark Tharp set up an exhibit table and featured the ARISS program at the annual Mike & Key Amateur Radio Club Hamfest (an event for radio enthusiasts) in Puyallup, WA.  Attendance topped 1,500 with everyone walking by the exhibit as they came in the building. The ARISS roll-up banner caught people’s eyes and Tharp reported many folks stopped to ask questions about ARISS and to take handouts and business cards.   February 28–March 4: To help celebrate the National Day of India, Science Carnival 2023 was scheduled in Ahmedabad. An exhibit area at the show highlighted amateur radio satellite communications and ARISS, and ARISS supporters Rajesh Vagadia and his daughter Sakshi teamed up to promote these activities. Visitors included kids, college students, engineers, and scientists. The ARISS booth featured information about the ARISS Student Outreach Program and a prominently displayed QR code that allowed people to submit a question to be answered at a talk on ARISS at Science Carnival. A poster at the booth showed off the very popular ARISS SSTV events. Another poster touted ARISS radio contacts. Rajesh reported that 100,000 people attended the carnival over the five days. He said, “I am optimistic to see the next generation taking keen interest in amateur radio and satellites from VU Land [India].” 

ARISS Upcoming Events  
Mar 27: Valle de Camargo High School, Revilla de Camargo, Spain – ARISS contact, ARISS-Europe Team