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International Space Station Astronauts Calling “CQ Students”


The deadline is April 30 for US schools, museums, science centers, and community youth organizations (working individually or together) to submit proposals to host an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with an orbiting crew member on the International Space Station (ISS). Contacts would be scheduled between January 1 and June 30, 2019.

Each year, ARISS provides tens of thousands of students with opportunities to learn about space technologies and communications through Amateur Radio. The program provides learning opportunities by connecting students to astronauts aboard the ISS through a partnership between ARRL, AMSAT, and NASA, as well as other Amateur Radio organizations and worldwide space agencies. The program’s goal is to inspire students to pursue interests and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and Amateur Radio.

“Educators overwhelmingly report that student participation in the ARISS program stimulates interest in STEM subjects and in STEM careers,” ARISS said in announcing the contact opportunities. “As one educator wrote, ‘It exceeded our expectations — it created a great interest in both Amateur Radio and in space exploration. Our kids are completely inspired!’”

More than 90% of educators who have participated in the program have indicated that ARISS provided ideas for encouraging student exploration and participation. Some of them even become radio amateurs after experiencing a contact with an ISS crew member.

ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed, exciting education plan. Students can learn about satellite communications, wireless technology, science research conducted on the ISS, radio science, and any related STEM subject. Students learn to use Amateur Radio to talk directly to an astronaut and ask their STEM-related questions. ARISS will help educational organizations locate Amateur Radio groups who can assist with equipment for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students.

Proposal webinars for guidance and getting questions answers will be offered on Thursday, March 29, at 7 PM EDT (0000 UTC on Friday, March 30) and on Monday, April 16, at 4 PM EDT (2100 UTC). Advance registration is required. More details, such as expectations, proposal guidelines, and the proposal form, are on the ARISS website. — Thanks to ARISS via Dave Jordan, AA4KN