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5 new hams today Apr 1st 2012, 04:15 5 1,184 on 27/5/12
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Running A High School Amateur Radio Club; What to do and what not to do? N8ERF on 27/3/13
I'll pick off the first question:

• What is the best way to recruit members to a school radio club, high school or otherwise? What do you tell them, what do you intentionally not tell them?

I recruit exclusively from my pool of 150 or so physics students and their friends. If I went school-wide, I would have more students but I'm not sure I would get the same level of commitment and the number of kids licensed. I am fortunate to teach a 2 year physics course, so toward the end of the first year, my kids know me pretty well and many of them naturally become interested just from us having a radio in the classroom and knowing that several of the "second year" students are licensed. I don't promote it very much. I just present it as something that is related to physics that I find fun and interesting. This year, we are working on a "rover" vehicle project and I suggested that it would be helpful if we had a few students with ham licenses for command and control of the vehicle. They responded very well to that, as it provided a tangible reason to get licensed.

Keep it fun and try to provide a practical reason for them to get licensed.
Running A High School Amateur Radio Club; What to do and what not to do? N8ERF on 22/3/13

First, I strongly agree with Mark's suggestion. The teacher's institutes are great. I took the TI 6 years ago followed by a TI -2 a couple of years later. From those workshops I got lots of practical ideas for amateur radio in the classroom and also my interest in amateur radio revitalized. A couple of years ago, I had a student, Sherman, who was an Eagle Scout who had seen a demonstration of amateur radio at a scout meeting. Knowing I was a ham, he sought me out and asked if I would help him get his license.

Several members of our Science Olympiad team joined in and we got six students licensed that year. Sherman, KJ6PJH, ended up receiving a $5000 ARRL scholarship, so *that* really got my students' attention! Last year, we had 3 more students earn their licenses and, so far, this year four more. I have several studying now and they are planning to test in April.

High school kids have a lot of interests and activities competing for their time. To keep them engaged, I try to figure out what seems fun to them, rather than what I think is fun. We have started doing a short after-school net on a quiet local repeater three days a week. The students check-in and I (or sometimes a student net control operator) ask 2 or 3 ham radio or science related "trivia" questions. The students earn "points" (for fun, not for a grade) for checking in, for correctly answering a question, making a QSO with another station, etc. At the end of each week, whoever has the most points "wins" a prize. I bought some ARRL mini-llogs, some stickers, some ARRL rulers, etc for the prizes. I have a ham friend who works at CalTech and he and another CalTech employee join our net every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Rick has contributed some NASA "swag" in th form of stickers, posters, and calendars. These are also used as "prizes" for the most active operator each week.

Keeping the momentum is a challenge, as most of my students are seniors, so not long after they are licensed, they graduate. So, obviously, it's better to start with freshmen. I have just found it better to work with students who I already see in class.

Next time, I'll talk a bit about how we are trying to use amateur radio in the classroom.
Sea/Spece Buoy Project WA8SME on 5/6/12

Small world. I live just over the fence from SHHS (about 500 feet northeast of home plate). I, too, teach IB Physics.We may have to meet up (on the air or in person).
Sea/Spece Buoy Project WA8SME on 4/6/12

How feasible do you suppose it would be to use the APRS one-line message capability to send a command string back to the device to change its status in some way. For example to command your buoy (or whatever device is sending telemetry) to change the sampling rate or to switch a particular transducer on or off or to command it into a power-saving mode,. I have a friend at JPL who is trying to help me design a project for my physics students and he thinks the ability to add command and control functions would be a powerful teaching opportunity. I immediately thought of using DTMF tones, but since the APRS network allows the data to be received remotely, it would be cool to use the same network to talk to the device. Your thoughts?
5 new hams today AD6QF on 24/5/12
I just spent some time reading up on Radio Jove. Looks interesting. I have an all mac lab, so I would either need to find a mac program with the functionality of SkyPipe or run SkyPipe in virtualization. Also, your recent QST article has me thinking of ways to use APRS to send remote sensing data. In addition to your buoy and balloon idea, it might be interesting to design a robot that will do remote sensing and send data (temperature, soil pH, whatever) via APRS. Maybe the BOEbot software and BASIC stamp could be used to drive something a bit larger than the BOEbot. A friend of mine has referred to this as a Mars rover for the football field.

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