August 31: The day after dodging a near hit from Hurricane Idalia, Augusta (GA) Preparatory Day School carried out an ARISS contact with Steve Bowen. 500 students and faculty packed the school gym to watch and to hear Bowen answer 18 student questions such as how holidays are celebrated there to what are your mission-driven goals on board. The school livestreamed the contact on Facebook: https://youtu.be/y_Yu0ddYF60?si=GgIqNK2luNIAR4im&t=1562. In 7 days’ time, the YouTube garnered 220 views. Media covered the event—WJBF ABC TV (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Wha2Ej8jZw), WRDW CBS TV, and Augusta Good News. ARISS Education Ambassador Martha Muir helped mentor the school contact and her quote in an interview by WJBF was: “That’s something they’re never going to forget. I love the smiles.” The rest of the day saw all students doing hands-on activities during their STEAM Fair. Weeks earlier, students prepared for the contact by engaging in the NASA Growing Beyond Earth program, and middle- and upper-school students researched how to the design and launch a small research satellite.
September 5: Valley Stream South High School (VSS) students in Valley Stream, NY look forward to their ARISS contact in October. ARISS educator Kathy Lamont reported that with school opening up for fall classes, VSS teachers created poster boards and set up a display case to remind students of an exciting new school year that will bring them the ARISS contact and many space-related STEM lessons.
July & August: The Euro Space Centre sponsors STEM camps in Libin, Belgium and each year, ARISS team members mentor girls and boys at Satellite Camp, Robot Camp, and Telecom-Ham Camp. While guiding youth in hands-on activities, ARISS volunteer Stefan Dombrowski never misses an opportunity to describe ARISS school contacts, and brings his radio for youth to listen to these. At Sat Camps, 13 kids made their own 3-D printed satellite and built in an Arduino unit, sensors, and an RF (radio frequency) module to take home. At Telecom-Ham Camps, 8 youth used software defined radios, built a ham radio antenna, and enjoyed hidden radio transmitter hunts. At Robotics Camp, 36 youth built an Arduino-based robot that “sees” where they program it to travel and avoid obstacles. The camp that the most girls (21%) were interested in was the Robotics Camp. All youth enjoyed listening to ARISS contacts.
ARISS Social Media for August
ARISS social media leader Jim Reed reported August 2023 highlights:
- Growth in Followers stayed steady at over 1% per month. At this rate, ARISS should pass 30K aggregate Followers in September.
- X continues to be tops (62%) in Followers and Impressions, but ARISS will keep diversifying with posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Mastodon.
ARISS Total August Social Media Metrics:
- ARISS X – Total Impressions / Views 142,128, Interactions / Engagements 4,556
- ARISS Facebook – Total Impressions 79,693, Interactions / Engagements 2,235
- ARISS Instagram – Total Reach 5,659, Interactions / Engagements 593
- ARISS Mastodon – Interactions / Engagements 182
- ARISS LinkedIn – 6 New Followers, 145 Reactions
- ARISS YouTube – Total Subscribers 1.95k
August Social Media Top Posts
The top post on X and Mastodon featured young Isabella holding a portable ham radio and aiming a satellite antenna to listen to an ARISS contact–her school has a late-October ARISS contact. The top Instagram post highlighted the STEMforGIRLS ARISS contact with Steve Bowen and the top Facebook post listed ARISS radio frequencies.
- Top X post: Impressions 6,859, Interactions / Engagements 316
- Top Facebook post: Impressions 7,233, Interactions / Engagements 227
- Top Instagram post: Impressions 259, Interactions / Engagements 25
- Top Mastodon post: Interactions / Engagements 26
ARISS Upcoming Events
Sept 12: Private Higher School of Engineering & Technology, Little Ariana, Tunisia, ARISS-Europe Team