ARRL Teachers Institutes Near Halfway Point for 2008


The first rounds of Teachers Institutes for this summer have been completed at the Parallax facility in Rocklin, California and at Pueblo Magnet High School in Tucson, Arizona. According to Education and Technology Program Coordinator Mark Spencer, WA8SME, there were a few specific goals and objectives that were tried during these two Teachers Institutes that were beyond the normal training curriculum: the new 24-hour clock kit for the Soldering 101 unit, the radio telescope unit and the BOT instructor's board.

These first Teachers Institutes had another first: a new instructor. "All of the technical things worked out well," said Spencer, "and new instructor Miguel Enriquez, KD7RPP, did a great job during his first Teachers Institutes as the lead instructor. He will be a much needed and welcome addition to the team."

Spencer said that 25 participating teachers from nine states attended these two Teachers Institutes. These teachers represented four elementary schools, 10 middle schools, 10 high schools and one university. Of the 25, 14 were hams and 11 were non-hams. "This number will shift because a number of non-ham participants are planning to, or will be taking their ham license examinations in the near future," Spencer said.

Here are a few comments taken from what participants had to say about their experience at the ARRL Teachers Institute:

In the 34 years I've been teaching, I'd place this workshop as one of the top two (the other being a really cool National Science Foundation program in chemistry education at University of Oregon) that I've been to. [The Teachers Institute] has inspired me to incorporate new material in some of my classes. It has inspired me to broaden my own interests.

Thanks again for ARRL support in the education gift department -- I have new ideas on how to excite the kids as I go through the next year.

Thanks for making a successful Institute experience for myself. You are an excellent instructor. I hope the ARRL knows what they have in you. Miguel was terrific also. Since I have come back [to my school], I have two teachers who have expressed interest in attending one. I am sure there will be several high school teachers in my district who certainly would be interested in attending one. We have about 10 high schools in the district and the TI is the institute for all of them.

I appreciate all you've done for me through the Teachers Institute. It has been a great learning process for me so far! I can't wait to share this new knowledge with my students.

Funding for the ARRL Teachers Institutes for Wireless Technology and for the ham radio station grants for schools are funded solely by contributions from ARRL members and others in the Amateur Radio community. According to ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, in 2008 the educational mission of ARRL has expanded to provide additional support for volunteer instructors, the development of additional online courses and curricula and tools for teachers. “If you are one of the thousands of hams who has helped ARRL expand its education horizons, thank you!” Hobart said. “You may wish to make your contribution to ensure a bright future for the next generation of radio amateurs. Please do so by phone or mail to ARRL Headquarters, or on the Web. Your generosity will make a big difference.”

The next Teachers Institute is in Dayton, Ohio and is sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA). The Teachers Institute season will wrap up with two sessions in Newington at ARRL HQ during the first week in August. Another instructor, Nathan McCray, K9CPO, will join Spencer in Newington. The Teachers Institutes are just one part of the ARRL Education and Technology Program, also known as "The Big Project." For more information on this exciting program, please visit the ETP Web site.