July 21: The SpaceKids Global (SKG) organization based in Winter Park, FL, in collaboration with the Girl Scouts of Citrus, in Orlando held an ARISS contact with Mark Vande Hei. SKG’s mission is to inspire girls and boys in STEAM+ (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, Math plus Environment) with a focus on empowering young girls. The two groups created a curriculum, Making Space for Girls, challenging girl scouts around the US with STEAM projects that began before, and continued through, Covid days with many activities carried out virtually. An example is a “Let’s Explore Space” event where girls from 14 states saw a demo of the new Unistellar EVscopes and heard guest speakers including a NASA software engineer and the VP of Programs and Partnerships at the ISS National Lab. For the ARISS contact, hundreds of youth tied in while 5 girl scouts and 13 leaders were on site. Many questions had been collected from 46 Girl Scout Councils nationwide; 20 questions were asked. The event was live streamed and a few days later had been viewed by over 480 people; it is at https://youtu.be/KzSRnjSjiTw. Each of the five interviewees received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from US Congressional Representative Val Demings.

Month of June + July 7: ARISS volunteer Gordon Scannell and members of the Livonia (MI) Amateur Radio Club set up an exhibit for the month of June about ARISS and ham radio satellites at the Livonia Public Library. The display case contained a loaner CubeSat simulator procured from AMSAT, amateur radio brochures and books from ARRL, and ham radios and antennas.  The library staff then asked club members to present a talk to the community; the hams introduced CubeSats and ARISS to 20 attendees. Afterwards, the hams spoke to the library staff about hosting a future ARISS contact.

July 22: Students at Seinan Gakuin Junior Senior High School in Fukuoka, Japan were given the chance through an ARISS radio contact to speak with Akihiko Hoshide. Some students were on site following Covid-19 guidelines and some joined by Zoom. As the ISS passed over the town, Hoshide answered 13 of their questions. A crowd of 152 were present for the contact. One TV news crew was on hand covering the event along with four newspaper teams. The event was livestreamed.    

June 31: The Savannah River Academy faculty in Grovetown, GA was totally impressed with informal educator Rachel Samples Jones, who planned the ARISS educational “Ham101” program for students.  She had orchestrated nine hands-on STEAM lessons for many of the 3rd through 8th graders to prepare them for their upcoming ARISS contact. Rachel reported that a lot of the students’ parents had talked to the school faculty to request more of her activities for their children. So not only did the school adjust its special projects schedule to better fit Rachel’s own work schedule, but starting this fall every student in the school will take part in the “Ham 101” program.   

Upcoming Events
Aug 3    Notre Dame Jogakuin Jr & Sr High School, Kyoto, Japan, ARISS contact        ARISS-Japan team