- February 22: Students and faculty at River Ridge High School in New Port Richey, FL spent a Saturday finishing projects related to their upcoming ARISS contact on March 3. Two of the projects they finalized were Tomatosphere and creating a special school logo that celebrates their ARISS contact and related STEAM studies.
- February 24: Kittredge Magnet School (KMS) in Atlanta, GA hosted an ARISS contact with Drew Morgan who answered 15 student questions. Attendance in two adjoining rooms totaled 600. The Brookhaven city mayor, representatives from the city council, the Dekalb School District Board, and the American Radio Relay League attended along with two TV stations’ crews. Viewers of the livestream ARISS contact totaled 1,700. Over 5,000 watched the video afterwards. A Kittredge educator honored the memory of math genius Katherine Johnson and NASA crew member Christa McAuliffe who said, “Space is for everybody.” -- the Kittredge teacher adding, “Kittredge Magnet School is making space ours.” Six Kittredge Magnet School Amateur Radio Club members took turns at the mic thanking area hams for helping two boys earn the Boy Scout Merit Badge, aiding a group of girls in garnering the Girl Scout Ham Radio Patch, and visiting classes to let students make radio contacts with hams at Georgia Tech and around the globe. A boy said his favorite radio contact was with a ham who lived on an island near Ontario, Canada, who had no Internet or phones, and his main communication method was ham radio. Students displayed various STEAM projects around the school including Maker creations. The URL for the livestream is (the kids’ cheering quiets down at 4:40):
- February 20: Students at Maple Dale Elementary School in Cincinnati, OH had a fantastic day having spoken with Drew Morgan. An 11th grade student and ham operator Julianna Di Benedetto handled the ARISS contact. A crowd of 500 listened as Drew answered 16 student questions. Addressing the group was the district school superintendent, attending along with three American Radio Relay League officials from Michigan and Ohio. Maple Dale livestreamed the ARISS contact to 9,630 students at 6 area schools: Blue Ash Elementary School in Blue Ash, Symmes Elementary School in Cincinnati, and 4 schools in Montgomery: Montgomery Elementary, Greene Intermediate, Sycamore Junior High, and Sycamore High. A Maple Dale teacher said: “We featured students and their questions on Maple Dale social media before the contact, and the school’s phone began ringing off the hook with questions on how to watch the livestream. So we posted the URL on the Sycamore School District’s Social Media pages.” An ARISS volunteer in California, giving a ham radio talk at an area school set up Maple Dale’s Facebook page so the West Coast kids and teachers could watch the ARISS contact live.Two news crews caught the Maple Dale action and another crew taped students the previous day. Following the contact, teachers discussed starting a school ham club. Media hits included:
- 2 for 1 -- a NASA blog posted the ISS daily summary, including the ARISS event, and Space Ref picked up the post:
- February 25: Students at Celia Hays Elementary School in Rockwall, TX were excited to have their ARISS contact with Drew Morgan. Over 190 students sat on the gym floor while another 680 on campus listened via the school’s communication system as 15 questions were answered. A newspaper reporter covered the event and the contact was live streamed; it is at (begins at 9 minutes): https://live.myvrspot.com/st?cid=NWM5NW. A short ARISS Facebook video of a girl garnered, in less than a half day, a Reach of 1,751 and 500 views. Student activities included robotics, ham radio satellites, coding, and communications such as the Deep Space Network.
- February 18: Long-time ARISS volunteer Tony Hutchison was invited by the premier of South Australia to a dinner in Adelaide as a guest of the Australian Space Agency. Tony was honored for his and his ARISS team’s work in Australia, inspiring thousands of youths’ interest in space, communications, and all types of STEM.
- February: Wikipedia's web page on SpaceX-20 (launch targeted for March 7 with ARISS’s new InterOperable Radio System—IORS--onboard) is at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX_CRS-20. The page lists some primary payloads, including the IORS, and says: “Interoperable Radio System (IORS) is the foundation element of the ARISS next-generation radio system on ISS.” The second and third media hits on SpaceX-20 and ARISS were an American Radio Relay League (ARRL) web story and a nearly full-page article in March QST, ARRL’s monthly journal going to 160,000 members.
- February 24: ARISS Mentor Gordon Scannell was invited to a meeting at Southfield Christian School, a K-12 school in Southfield, MI to give a workshop meeting on ARISS. Three teachers, the elementary school principal and middle school principal attended. The result of the meeting is that the faculty plans to spend several months developing their ARISS Education Proposal.
ARISS Upcoming Events
- March 3: Students at River Ridge High School in New Port Richey, FL, are all set for their contact with Drew Morgan.
- March 9 & 17: ARISS-US Education Committee member Dan Pooler will do professional development presentations on ARISS at the annual conference of the New England League of Middle Schools to be held in Providence, RI, and at the New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics Spring Conference in Manchester, NH.
- March 14-15: ARISS Mentor Gordon Scannell will give a forum on ARISS at the ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention in Perrysburg OH. He will be introduced as a VIP guest at the banquet, also.