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Surfin’: Kids and Kit-building

05/10/2013

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ highlights a Morse code kit-building project in an Oregon middle school.

When I was a student, the only technical gadget in the building was a cranky 16 millimeter projector that our teachers used to show films like Hemo the Magnificent and The Unchained Goddess.

Today’s typical classroom is filled with computers, laptops, tablets and -- if you are lucky enough to attend a school like Hamlin Middle School in Springfield, Oregon -- ham radio equipment. Recently, 200 Hamlin 6th grade students built Morse code oscillators under the guidance of the Emerald Amateur Radio Society (EARS). EARS funded the project with the assistance of education grants from Tucson Amateur Radio Packet TAPR and two local utility companies.

According to the EARS website, both “the volunteers and students said [the project] was fun and interesting.” The students learned a little electronic theory, some Morse code and they actually had the opportunity to use a gadget that they built themselves, rather than something store-bought. This might inspire the students to do more in electronics, and perhaps there will be some Hamlin ham operators in the future. This could be just the kind of project to inspire your radio club to sponsor a similar project at a local school, and help grow ham radio.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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