ARRL Executive Committee Approves Resource Grants for 11 Schools
In June, the ARRL Executive Committee reviewed grant applications for the ARRL’s Education & Technology Program (ETP), awarding equipment and resources valued at nearly $16,000 to 11 schools. More than 590 schools across the country have received support from the ETP in the form of grants for equipment, curriculum and resources, as well as teacher in-service training through the Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology. Applications for equipment and resource grants are accepted twice each year; application deadlines are May 1 and November 1.
A central goal of the ETP is to develop a foundation of wireless technology literacy among America’s teachers and students. It employs Amateur Radio to explore radio science and electronics and provide hands-on activities that engage students’ minds and imaginations, opening doorways into math, science and technology curriculum topics, as well as other core curriculum areas such as geography and language arts.
Grants for school radio stations are awarded to schools that provide a plan to use Amateur Radio as part of an enrichment program and/or as part of in classroom learning. The following schools recently received ETP equipment and resource grants at a total estimated cost of $14,000:
- Cherry Creek School District, Centennial, Colorado: The instructors involved with this school’s radio program have been very active and aggressive in getting their program going -- and growing -- in the school, including licensing activities and on-the-air activities. The instructors’ goals, objectives and expectations for the program are traditional, incremental and realistic. The instructors are graduates of the Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology (TI), and one instructor is attending the advanced TI session this summer.
- Mogadore Local Schools, Mogadore, Ohio:The program articulated in this grant application is well thought-out, comprehensive and includes a number of schools within the school district. Their stated goals and assessment strategy is admirable. Even if their goals are only particularly achieved, they will meet or exceed the ETP expectations. This ETP equipment grant will provide the basic equipment needed to get their program started. The instructor is a graduate of the TI program.
- Burns Science and Technology Charter School, Oak Hill, Florida: The local ham community in Northern Florida has set a goal to establish a ham radio station/club in each area school. Burns is one school in that area. The school has strong local support and a traditional plan to integrate wireless technology literacy into the classroom. A lead science teacher will be attending the TI this summer.
- Thornton Middle School, Katy, Texas: The applying teacher attended both the TI and TI-2 in-service training opportunities and is applying for a station grant to implement what he has learned during those experiences. The program outlined is traditional and doable.
- St Charles High School, St Charles, Missouri: The program outlined in this application has set traditional goals that outline the typical school program. The school appears to have good local community support. The teacher is a graduate of the TI, and has taken and passed the licensing exam as a result. The school station, as provided by the grant, will allow the instructor to follow through on the training provided during the TI experience.
- Forest Knolls Elementary School, Silver Spring, Maryland: This grant application articulated a realistic program for this elementary school, building on what they have been able to accomplish to date with the limited resources that they have been able to muster. Though understated and not flashy, it appears that the teacher is doing some good things and is looking for help to take the next step. It also appears that the local community agrees.
- Petal High School, Petal, Mississippi: The program at Petal is on-going and maturing. There appears to be extensive on-staff support available with licensed teaching staff members. The lead teacher attended the Teachers Institute in 2008. The fact that their program participants have been successful in obtaining ARRL-supported scholarships indicates that the program has received some recognition for their efforts. This program deserves our support to help them take it to the next level.
The purpose of the ETP Progress Grant is to offer modest resource support to those teachers who are currently using Amateur Radio in their classrooms as an instructional tool and who need additional resources for specific purposes. The following schools received equipment and resource Progress Grants at a total estimated cost of $2000:
- Central Square Middle School, Central Square, New York: Central Square is one of the ETP’s first school grantees. They are requesting a satellite rotor system to replace one that is aging and broken. Their intention is to prepare for a direct ARISS contact while they fix the equipment that supports their on-going space related curriculum. The instructor is involved with a private “teacher in space” program and appears to be active in space-related activities, as well as active in the School Club Round Up program.
- Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy, Austin, Texas: The instructor for this well-established program is a TI graduate and he has run a mature radio club program at the school for a number of years. The school club call sign is frequently at the top of the School Club Round Up score board. They are asking for an automated antenna tuner to go along with the station equipment that they had received a number of years ago to facilitate their HF operations.
- Sitting Bull Academy, Apple Valley, California: The instructor of this ETP School is a graduate of the TI and TI-2 programs. He is requesting a copy of the CubeSat Simulator for use in his evolving space borne technology program. Because of his exposure to space borne telemetry during the TI-2, he is in a good position to put this simulator to good use at his school.
- Watkinson School, Hartford, Connecticut:The author of this application is a TI graduate. He has recently taken steps to get personally involved with the on-the- air activity, gaining ham radio experience so that he is in a better position to determine how ham radio can be related to his students. The instructor has also taken steps to reach out to the local ham community for help.