- April 7: ARISS teacher Joanne Michael and her students in Los Angeles, CA do balloon launches each year. After some discussions within ARISS on this idea, she challenged Ted Tagami of Magnitude.io (a Space Station Explorers program, like ARISS) in San Francisco to an intercontinental high altitude balloon race. Each educator plans to launch from their locations a balloon that uses amateur radio/APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) to downlink the balloon telemetry. Launches are set tentatively for June 1 at exactly the same minute; the winning balloon would be the first to reach the East Coast time zone. While still in the formative stage, the educators plan for students around the globe to be able to track and receive data such as location, height, temperature from each balloon in real time. The ARISS team plans to set up a website area to post interactive activities based on student age. Teachers and parents can excite at-home youth to track the states each balloon travels through and graph altitude vs temperature, etc. To verify the capability, Joanne plans a balloon launch prior to June 1 so the ARISS team can perform an end-to-end test of the system. More news will follow.
- March-April: Pearl STEM Academy in Peoria, IL hosted a July 2018 ARISS contact. Students continue to be interested in space, even when home. The academy’s ARISS volunteer posts Facebook items for students, including many NASA videos and stories. Recent posts were how to access NASA’s “Home for Students” activities and the Story Time From Space reading by Anne McClain of Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader.
- March-April: ARISS volunteer Brian Jackson teaches sixth grade in Alberta, Canada. His students had taken part in ISS National Lab Space Station Explorers’ Tomatosphere and a rainbow trout project prior to having to stay home. He’s now e-teaching and students are receiving his weekly video of how the living things are doing. In past years, Brian helped his students make ARISS contacts with Chris Hadfield and Robert Thirsk.
ARISS Upcoming Events
- April: The ARISS team continues to test and firm up a plan to transform ARISS contacts and how ARISS interacts with youth and education institutions. ARISS will provide distance learning with every student and staff member in their own homes (even quarantined).