- July 29: An article appeared in the Ramona Sentinel about Ramona (CA) Lutheran Christian School students’ preparations for an ARISS contact in mid-October. Beginning August 17, the school will offer a course called Robotics and Amateur Radio Fundamentals through the STEM clubs. The course builds on STEM lessons taught this spring related to ARISS. If the school postpones its opening, teachers hope to get a waiver for small groups of social-distanced students to do the hands-on activities. They will learn how to code robots and be mentored by the local radio club, Ramona Outback Amateur Radio Service, in a number of hands-on radio activities. The newspaper story also explained the ARISS program, its focus on STEM learning, and its affiliation with NASA, ARRL, and AMSAT. The lead teacher had traveled to ARRL Hq in Connecticut in 2019 for a week-long Teachers Institute to learn to lead activities that utilize amateur radio as a STEM-teaching tool in the classroom.
- Aug 4-5: Space and radio enthusiasts around the globe enjoyed a Russian Slow Scan TV (SSTV) session carried out using the Moscow Aviation Institute’s MAI-75 experiment on the ISS. Images featured things related to Russian space and aviation history. Participants used free software from the internet to download and post 2,830 images on the ARISS SSTV Gallery web pages: https://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/. US participants were very pleased including one writer, Beth in Texas, who said: “I received an image during a pass today. It was a low elevation pass, just 7 degrees. The next pass is a high elevation one. Fingers crossed for a good image!” ESA Education has promoted ARISS SSTV for a month after creating and posting an online video on how to download images. ESA Education’s David Honess wrote: “At one point there were 98 concurrent users downloading images from the Goonhilly Web SDR! I am really pleased…the views of our video jumped from 3,000 to 9,600 the last few days! And over 50 comments were posted, which are all nice and positive.” An ISS Fan Club web page administrator said she noticed a big increase in people who posted notes about it being the first time they downloaded SSTV images.
- Ongoing: In the past six months, the ARISS team has been developing an electronics teaching kit focused on radio technology targeted to elementary through high school students. Hands-on lesson plans to use with items in the kit cover basic electronics and communications concepts: Understanding Waves and Wave Propagation, Series and Parallel Circuits (and electronics understanding), Codes and Ciphers, and a Software Defined Radio (also known as the ARISS Radio Pi) that is a plug and play system.
- The latter includes a Raspberry Pi and software, both specially developed by ARISS (the software is embedded on a micro-SD card for the Pi), and an RTL-SDR dongle that plugs into the Pi and attaches to the provided antenna. The ARISS Radio Pi will enable students to investigate radio signals across the radio spectrum and to track and listen to satellites, including the ISS.
- The first batch of kits is nearing completion and then will be introduced to students at several schools.
ARISS Social Media
Facebook in July 2020
Instagram: As of July 31, 2020, total Instagram Followers increased to 157.
ARISS Upcoming Events
- August 21: Students from summer camps sponsored by Kopernik Observatory & Science Center in Vestal, NY will speak with Chris Cassidy during an ARISS contact.
- August 14-15: Kathy Lamont, chair of the ARISS-US Education Committee and a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Aerospace Education Member will attend sessions of the virtual CAP 2020 National Conference on a variety of CAP educational resource materials that can be used by teachers and students.