October 12:  Students at the Mary Hare School for the deaf in Newbury, UK took part in an ARISS radio contact with Mark Vande Hei; he answered all 10 of the students’ questions. This was the first time an ARISS contact has been carried out with hearing impaired students. The school used special equipment and software and Vande Hei’s words were transcribed and posted on a screen. The UK Space Agency’s Susan Buckles and ARISS volunteer Chris Bridges from University of Surrey Science Centre both gave presentations that included possible careers in aerospace. Afterwards, a young girl told a reporter the “ARISS contact changed her life, that she’s interested in a space career” now. About 80 students and faculty witnessed the event while 232 watched the live stream, and another 125 viewed it within a week’s time. The link is (begin at 49 minutes): https://youtu.be/wmI3qKZgjJ4.  Three media outlets covered the event: BBC South, ITV, and a Newbury newspaper. In previous months, among other things related to STEAM, the youth worked with model rockets and made astronomy observations.

October 13:  Three schools in France–Ecole Louis Armand and Institut Universitaire de Technologie in Carquefou, along with Collège Les Sables D’Or in Thouare Sur Loire–hosted an ARISS contact with Thomas Pesquet. He answered 18 questions. The livestream captured 633 live viewers at the host school, and the stream was viewed by nearly 5,000 at the other schools of the academy.  Media outlets included TV France-3, Radio Franc Bleu, and newspapers Ouest-France and Presse Ocean.  France-3’s video summary garnered 3,949 views; and the link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjtSg3Qb2Ws.  University undergrads built much of the antenna system, the structural parts and electrical control system, and they proudly stated that this link is why “the three schools’ students and Pesquet will be linked together for life.”  Young students were introduced to satellite radio contacts and Morse code, built yagi antennas, and took part in radio direction-finding quests.

September 24: All 115 of Savannah River Academy’s students in Grovetown, GA enjoyed a “Get on the Air” event, a preparation for the school’s late-2021 ARISS contact. 30 teachers, informal educators, and administrators got engaged, too. Students rotated between getting on the air at a 2-meter radio station with EchoLink and two HF radio stations—one for Morse code radio contacts and one for voice contacts. North Fulton Amateur Radio League (NFARL) members at home in metro Atlanta listened for and talked to the youth. Other ham operators around the US and ones in the Philippines, Belgium, and Italy (an ARISS volunteer) spoke with students. Kids really liked Morse code contacts; it took special nudging to get them to move on from there. While students weren’t on the air, an area scientist led STEM demos, popular as well. The school principal got on the air and when asked what she thought of the ARISS activities, she said she loves it and the students love it! Near the end of the event, staff brought in Pre-K and K students and the Amateur Radio Club of Columbia County president, who was on site, helped them say all together, a hi and goodbye to listening hams. 

October 7:  Twenty-one formal and informal educators tied into a virtual ARISS Proposal Webinar hosted by ARISS-US Education Committee Chair Kathy Lamont with a big assist from ARISS Mentor Lead John Kludt. Educators asked questions related to submitting an ARISS Education & Contact Proposal to be considered for ARISS contacts in second-half 2022. The webinar spelled out education expectations and timetables for deliverables from groups to be selected. The window to submit proposals opened October 1. The webinar was recorded and was made available to interested parties until the window closes on November 24.  

September 25: Two young ham operators and ARISS educator Neil Rapp, the coordinator of the Youth on the Air-Americas (YOTA) project, gave a Zoom talk to the YOTA team that is forming in Japan.  The presentation explained about the ARISS contact and related hands-on STEM activities at the YOTA camp in Ohio in late summer. The 12 Japanese listeners got an understanding of the effect these had on the young people when hearing the enthusiasm in the campers’ voices.  

October 9:  ARISS volunteer Charlie Sufana presented a forum on the ARISS program at the annual Melbourne (FL) Hamfest. He discussed what an ARISS contact is, how it is carried out and how schools can submit education proposals to host a contact.  After the Q&A he ended with a video of one of the many successful ARISS school contacts he has supported through the years as an ARISS Technical Mentor.

September 25: A young ham operator who took part in the ARISS contact at the Youth on the Air (YOTA) camp in late summer gave a presentation to a ham radio conference audience in Pigeon Fork, TN. The forum talk covered the ARISS contact and related technical hands-on activities such as tracking satellites, and the YOTA camp itself; 161 people attended the conference.   

ARISS Upcoming Events   

Oct 28  Tarwater Elementary School, Chandler AZ, ARISS contact, ARISS-US team