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Amateur Radio “EduTeam” Wows the Crowds at Georgia Super STEM Event

04/01/2015

Members of the North Fulton Amateur Radio League (NFARL) EduTeam in Fulton County, Georgia, offered students and other members of the public an opportunity to experience ham radio. The EduTeam hosted an Amateur Radio booth at the Sandy Springs Education Force’s Super STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Event March 5 at North Springs Charter High School.

 

“The theme of this year’s STEM Event was Communications Technology, so we were a perfect fit,” said Martha Muir, W4MSA. “Waves of the North Springs students flooded our booth from the morning until early afternoon. Then it was time for students from the local middle schools.”

That evening, Muir said, officials from the Sandy Springs Education Force as well as other members of the community visited.

“Our booth was busy all day, tantalizing and educating our visitors with various aspects of Amateur Radio,” she said, “especially about how fun it is, and how easily it fits into STEM classrooms.”

Mike Cohen, AD4MC, and Wes Lamboley, W3WL, installed an antenna at the school, so visitors could make voice contacts on 20 and 10 meters. Chuck Catledge, AE4CW, Sam Wolff, KK4NVJ, Megan Brown, KM4HFY, and Eli Musgrave, KM4HFZ — all Mill Springs Academy students — assisted the guests in getting on the air.

John Kludt, K4SQC, set up his Mars Lander Amateur Radio Robotics Exploration Activity (MAREA) robot to simulate how NASA scientists use radio signals to control the movement of the Mars rovers. “John’s MAREA clearly stood out with the students and other visitors to our booth, Muir said. He also showed a video of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact at Mill Springs Academy.

Lamboley and Catledge helped students to explore the relationship between electricity and magnetism in general and answered some physics students’ questions about Lenz’ Law, Muir said. “Wes also had students investigate more electrical concepts with his van de Graff generator. They were drawing lightning bolts off the top with a pin, shocking themselves sometimes by simply drawing the bolt to themselves, and inducing a fluorescent bulb to glow,” Muir recounted. “This was mesmerizing for the students and helped affirm the relationship between Amateur radio and STEM for the teachers.”

Muir said that Jim Stafford, W4QO, “enthralled young and older visitors’ by pairing his Morse keyer with a laser and an audio amplifier.

“We received rave compliments from the students, parents, teachers, and administrators who visited our booth,” Muir said. “Several students from both the high school and middle school expressed interest in starting Amateur Radio programs at their schools.” Muir said she hoped the positive feedback would help enlist teachers and schools to form ham radio clubs and help more students to become licensed.

 



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