May 11: ARISS intern Unsh Rawal gave a presentation to 10 ARISS senior leaders, summarizing his work of the past year for ARISS.  He assembled Java and Python code, built a user interface, and linked communications resources to remotely command and control a Makeblock mBot robot used in educational environments. The mBot is one item in the ARISS *STAR* kit that in the future, teachers will receive and use.  Open source code Unsh assembled allows an educator’s students to work with schools locally and around the country; schools register their robots and can see a list of other schools that registered their robot.  Schools can check a box that permits another school’s students to send commands that remotely control the other school’s robot. Modes to command the robots include Bluetooth or a radio mode using APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System).

May 18-21: Each May, ARISS pulls out the stops exhibiting to ham radio enthusiasts who travel to Xenia, OH from all over the world to Hamvention. This convention is the world’s largest amateur radio convention—31,000 attended last year.  The ARISS team has been planning its activities for months, including a booth with displays of hardware and education programs, a forum and mini-forums, and importantly, a kick-off of a 40-year anniversary celebration of amateur radio contacts made from a human spaceflight vehicle. More details on ARISS at Hamvention will be reported soon.     

May: ARISS-US Education Committee members are planning their activities for two educator conferences in late June. Kathy Lamont and Joanne Cozens Michael will attend the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Philadelphia. Kathy recognized the importance of sharing the ARISS program at ISTE saying, “It draws like-minded educators together around the focus of technology and educational impact … who are open to using varied technologies including wireless activities involving ham radio.”  For the 2023 Space Port Area Conference for Educators at Kennedy Space Center, six ARISS team members will attend. In addition to a presentation, ARISS aims to offer a special Q&A ARISS radio contact for selected educators. Following the conference, ARISS will hold an “Educate the Educator” workshop for educators who’ve signed up to receive instruction on using SPARKI (Space Pioneers Amateur Radio Kit) as a basic electronics teaching tool in their school. More details will be coming.  

May 10:  ARISS thanks NASA’s Applied Sciences group for its new web story on students at 63 schools in 12 Caribbean and Central America nations who loved an ARISS contact late last year– The NASA Earth Applied Sciences Disasters program and other world organizations had supported a collaborative awareness initiative, Disaster Fighters. This group helped the students discover more about NASA and platforms in space such as the ISS that monitor natural hazards on earth. Students researched how information provided by this monitoring work can help their families better understand impacts of climate change and potential disasters. The article’s author wrote that the ARISS contact “was a way to connect [students’] curiosity with science’s role in creating a more resilient future for the communities where they live.”

ARISS Upcoming Events    
May 19: Webb Bridge Middle School, Alpharetta GA – ARISS contact, ARISS-US Team
May 19: Fairview Elementary School, Olathe KS – ARISS contact, ARISS-US Team
May 20: Youth in Saint Petersburg, Russia – ARISS contact, ARISS-Russia Team
May 26: St. Francis Xavier H.S., Gloucester ON, Canada – ARISS contact, ARISS-Canada Team