August 28: Students at Bowman Middle School in Bakersville, NC experienced a day they’ll not forget after speaking to Steve Bowen during an ARISS contact. 285 people (189 youth) in the auditorium watched the students ask 13 questions. VIPs present included US Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, ARRL North Carolina Section Manager Marv Hoffman, ARISS Technical Mentor Bob Koepke of South Carolina, a Mitchell County Board of Education leader, and two Mitchell County Commissioners. Hoffman presented the school with an award for supporting STEM. Media reps came from WJHL Tri-Cities TV (Johnson City-Bristol-Kingsport, TN) and two newspapers, the Queen City News and Mitchell News Journal. The Mitchell County Schools’ Facebook livestream had 116 viewers. The WJHL reporter said the ARISS contact sparked an interest in young minds, and quoted a 7th grader: “It felt amazing, I loved every moment. After this, I would like to be an astronaut to experience space and what it looks like, the galaxies and stuff like that.” The TV item (which on contact day, provided video) is at https://www.wjhl.com/news/local/north-carolina-students-speak-with-astronaut-in-space/.
August 23: An ARISS contact highlighted the virtual 2023 STEM Summer Summit for the STEMforGIRLS program in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The non-profit Women in Resource Development Corporation (WRDC) sponsors the program. The summit featured presentations by women in STEM careers—geologists, an avionics instructor, and more. During the ARISS contact, Steve Bowen answered 17 girls’ questions. A post with video on X showed 893 views, and 24 hours later, 1,997 views. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation covered the event, which was livestreamed. WRDC offers girls “hands-on learning experiences, provides opportunities to interact with role models, and instills knowledge and confidence required to make informed career choices in STEM and skilled trades.”
August 25: The Australian Air League (AAL) in Salisbury, South Australia, Australia hosted an ARISS contact in the Australian Space Discovery Centre and cadets talked to Warren Hoburg. He answered 20 questions while 90 people watched the cadets. AAL livestreamed the contact on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AustralianAirLeague/) and another AAL squadron (mostly girls) tuned in. In a week’s time the stream garnered 1.2k views. The ARISS radio telebridge station supporting this contact from Italy offered a livestream of their actions, attracting 92 viewers. Another 27 people listened to the audio on two reflectors, Echolink and IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Project). Meantime, at the Euro Space Centre STEM Camps in Belgium, ARISS informal instructor Stefan Dombrowski provided the livestream to 40 girls and boys. Before the contact, a commercial radio reporter had done a livestreamed interview with the AAL squadron commander and 18 cadets with the Adelaide Airport manager and 80 community members in the audience.
August 30: Next week’s report will cover the Augusta (GA) Prep School’s ARISS contact. A day prior to the contact, the school posted a very cute short video “promo” on Facebook of kids excited about their upcoming contact (https://www.facebook.com/augustaprep). The last shot of the video is below.
ARISS Upcoming Events
Sept 12: Private Higher School of Engineering & Technology, Little Ariana, Tunisia, ARISS-Europe Team