- June 1: ARISS educator Joanne Michael had challenged Space Station Explorer educators to a balloon race with tracking done via amateur radio payloads. The exciting distance-learning race, the Mid-Altitude Balloon Race, saw four educators successfully launch balloons simultaneously from Torrance, Berkeley, and Pasadena, CA and Pasco, WA. Over 435 socially-distanced students, teachers, and the public worldwide watched the livestreamed launch and first 4 minutes of competition at https://youtu.be/UD-rO3nKMZo/. Some began the graphing and predicting lessons found at https://www.ariss.org/mid-altitude-balloon-race.html for the balloon to reach the Eastern Time zone first to win. Watch for more details in next week’s report.
- The post to follow the racing was at www.ariss.org and ARISS social media…and in a mere 16 hours, interest soared! ARISS Facebook showed 6,424 Reaches, 666 Engagements, 40 Shares, and 42 Likes. A teacher, Courtney, was inspired after reading the post to want a launch for her school; she wrote to readers, “Let’s get planning and get your thoughts and ideas and let’s make this happen for the students.”
- May 21: River Ridge High School in New Port Richey, FL hosted their ARISS contact in March. Teacher Linda Nowicki led students in a multitude of STEAM activities, as her ARISS proposal had promised. Now, she engages students in e-lessons on space. They learned to calculate orbital planes and the energy required to change orbits. They researched uncrewed space systems. One project had students determine the next two sightings of the ISS at their homes and record a) where they would view it from, b) what direction it would approach, and c) a sketch of their yard and house indicating potential obstructions preventing their observations. Linda saw such a worth in ARISS activities that she will continue lessons in the next school year. She was invited recently to become a member of the ARISS-US Education Committee.
- May 22: Frank Bauer gave a Zoom talk to space enthusiasts, students, educators and others on the program Magnitude Live #13, sponsored by Magnitude.io, a Space Station Explorers program located in Berkeley, CA. Frank provided an overview of amateur radio and ARISS and gave examples of how amateur radio impacted his space career. He also explained the new social-distance distance-learning ARISS contacts, and the balloon race led by ARISS teacher Joanne Michael, with Magnitude.io as a contestant. The presentation was also live-streamed on Magnitude.io’s YouTube Channel; 17 people listened via Zoom and 127 via the YouTube.
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