February 28: Carter G. Woodson Middle School hosted an ARISS radio contact with Thomas Marshburn; he answered 20 student questions. An audience of 16 educators, 58 students, and 15 guests listened. The school is named for Carter Woodson, a son of former slaves; he became the second African-American to earn a doctorate from Harvard. Founder of the association for the Study of Negro Life and History, he is considered the father of Black History Month. The ARISS contact live stream (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmFtTluF3aQ) was on YouTube, and also posted is a school video of student STEM activities; the two garnered 390 views. An online newsfeed, the Progress-Index featured an article about the contact. NBC-12 reporters came to school the next day to interview students for a special show. The school’s STEM curriculum included courses in space exploration and related technology, the Solar System, and careers tied to the study and exploration of space. The faculty partnered with members of the Richmond Amateur Radio Club who provided instruction on how radios work, hands-on kit-building and electronics, and amateur radio communications.

February 4-25: With their ARISS contact scheduled for April, the Space Hardware Club of the University of Alabama (UAH) in Huntsville recently visited several area schools whose students will be part of the contact. As prep for this, the undergrads visited the schools, leading lessons in space-related projects. They spent a day with 100 students at New Hope Elementary School in New Hope, building and flying paper rockets and then manipulating string to learn how radio waves work. Undergrads returned to the school to teach kids with a critical thinking game involving balloon payloads. At Mountain Gap Middle School in Huntsville, 120 students gathered with UAH club members to make and race paper airplanes and then joined together for a session with the critical thinking game on balloon payloads.

February 8: The Liborius Gymnasium in Dessau-Roßlau, Germany hosted a 2018 ARISS contact and students are continuing to study STEM tied to space and wireless radio. Twelfth graders love their physics class and built a ham radio station to engage with the QO-100 geostationary satellite. Recently, 35 twelfth graders planned an exposé for 45 tenth graders and staff. The capstone was a one-hour Q&A ham radio contact via QO-100 with four Antarctica Neumayer Station scientists. One was Theresa Thoma, a ham operator with computer science and electrical engineering degrees. Katherine, a Liborius student who has her ham license, used the school ham radio set-up to initiate the call while students listened anxiously, hoping the contact would work. Theresa answered from Neumayer’s radio room—students “broke out in frenetic applause.” She and the three other scientists answered questions about life at Neumayer, their research and technology, the ham station, and Antarctic effects on radio propagation. Afterwards, Liborius students said Theresa was a good role model for them. Next, Liborius students used a globe, satellite model, and string to present radio wave theory to non-hams. They used props to explain frequency and amplitude of an electromagnetic oscillation, and described the math and physics in “an engaging way.” Media reps came from radio stations MDR, SAW, Corax, Mitteldeutsche Zeitung newspaper, and MDR TV; the latter showed a three-minute video on the evening news titled, “Sparks—a hobby that broadens horizons.”

March 3: The ARISS team wrote and distributed a news release on working with Axiom Space. Two crew members scheduled to fly on Axiom Mission-1 (Ax-1) will use the ARISS radio to conduct school radio contacts. Ax-1 crew members Mark Pathy from Canada and Eytan Stibbe from Israel will support the contacts.  ARISS trained them on using the ARISS radio system and guided them on studying to earn their ham radio licenses. Stibbe will talk with middle and high school students in Israel. 40 school classes are expected to take part in his “Rakia” mission with theoretical and practical sessions on radio-based communication. Pathy’s personal mission theme of “Caring for people and the planet” will benefit Canadian elementary and high schools with STEM content and mentorship. Students developed questions on how human bodies react to being in space, doing things in zero gravity, and the state of our planet.

February: ARISS teacher Melissa Pore has been sharing with Bishop O’Connell High School students in Arlington, VA the many new STEM education activities she learned at the Space Exploration Educators Conference in Houston, TX. Her engineering students and amateur radio club members are enjoying space and communications activities tied to their 2022 Global Studies Program, “Space Exploration, Engineering & International Cooperation,” with ARISS as the role model.

ARISS Social Media for February 2022

ARISS Facebook – February

Twitter: On February 28, 2022, ARISS Twitter followers totaled 16,227, a gain of 1.2% over January.

Facebook: Followers for February 2022 increased to 7,305.

Instagram: Followers at the end of February 2022 grew to 404.

ARISS YouTube: At the end of February, subscribers increased to 1.64k.

February: Top Tweet—12.9k Impressions       Top Facebook Post—3,566 Reaches

                                       119 Engagements       

ARISS Upcoming Events 

March 18 HamSCI Workshop, Huntsville AL, presentation on ARISS experiments, ARISS-US Team