[amsat-bb] Re: In School ARSSat Demos / lessons

John Spasojevich johnag9d at gmail.com
Mon Nov 21 08:56:44 PST 2011

Mark is exactly right. This is the problem. The typical ham on the street
is not going to walk into a school, get an audience with the administrator
or a teacher. At least not in the big city. I did it in my sons school in a
mid sized district but I was already a "known" entity from other volunteer
work I did in the school. Forget about walking in blind.  This seems to be
the attitude from on high, regardless of where the on high is, that you as
a ham just simply walk into a school and make the pitch.  Does not work
folks. If you know a teacher, you have a foot in the door. If they have
tenure, so much the better. I worked a school radio club for three years as
part of our ARISS contact. Three of the four teachers were not tenured and
asking them for anything resulted in the deer inthe headlights look of
fear. We also found that it was VERY VERY hard to inject any outside
material into the curriculum. We we ended up doing was taking over the four
display cases in the main hallway and installed a changing series of
displays. Some were interactive like a solar panel, volt meter and light
bulb with a switch on the outside of the case the kids could push. This was
a K-5 school. For six months we hams handled the design and installation of
these displays. Once the contact was over the funding(teachers got $$ since
they had to be there after school) was reallocated and out the door we
went. I know some of those kids and they are juniors in HS now and several
are in the electronics classes ( taught by a ham ) so you do reach the
students, but it's often a difficult path because the educators do not know
where to find the material.  I often asked the question 'If I were a
teacher, how would I find out about ARISS' there never seemed to be an
answer. At least with the new NASA involvement in ARISS there is some
publicity and mailing/emailing to schools.  So one thing that must be
improved is that the organizations themselves, ARRL & AMSAT have to make
the push, as national orzanizations they have the credibility we as the ham
on the street need to get in the door. Most non ham teachers are not going
to go to a hamfest to see a demo.  If your neighbor is a PTA member, a
teacher or you know a school board member, something along these lines, you
have a path a well.  Bring a prop with you, a PC running SatPC32 or
something to draw their attention while you talk.


On Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 8:31 AM, Mark L. Hammond <marklhammond at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi All,
> While at this moment I can't give my full appeal/rationale, what Roger
> says below echoes my key point stated during conversations at the
> recent Symposium; he has hit the nail on the head!!  Any of us that
> are married to K-12 educators (or are themselves one) know this is
> precisely true:
> > With all the emphasis on testing and measurable results in the classroom,
> > teachers have scant time to develop interesting science projects that are
> > outside the state and federal "frameworks" and won't be tested for at the
> > end of the year.
> If we want to fulfill our (AMSAT's) educational mission, we *must*
> make it extremely easy and more applicable to the standards our
> teachers are teaching to.  The GOOD NEWS is that most states are
> coming on board with a common set of core standards for K-12
> education.  Details are here:  http://www.corestandards.org/
> Math is specifically addressed:
> http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_Math%20Standards.pdf     If
> you've heard of STEM, the "M" is math.
> The connections between us launching satellites and what our nation's
> teachers are teaching have to made.  Right now, he Common Core State
> Standards are our best hope, because nearly every state has agreed to
> adopt them!!  It's a golden opportunity and timing is perfect--and
> it's now.
> In layman's terms:  We desperately need AMSAT folks/satellite
> operators who are K-12 educators---or are married to them (my wife is
> a 4th grade teacher in North Carolina) who can work collaboratively to
> develop specific lesson plans (using satellite telemetry data for
> example) to meet the mathematics Common Core State Standards.    For
> example, we're talking plotting, graphing, explaining, analyzing data
> from *any* satellite up there now, or that we'll launch in the future
> (Fox-1, 2, etc.)   Data can be obtained live (copying FM voice
> telemetry from ARISSat-1), from telemetry servers, from the archives,
> etc.  The challenge is pulling this off.  Ideally, we need to partner
> with ARRL and NASA on this, but we can lead the pack.  We have the
> people to do this---and without it, it's going to be hard to get a
> "free launch."
> Anyhow, I have a reasonable grasp of the big picture--and there is
> lots to do.  But done in a directed and intentional manner, we can
> establish a framework for fulfilling our educational mission, while at
> the same time helping justify (and pay for) the launches of our
> satellites.
> Time to go back to my real work for now :)   More later---but
> hopefully you wall see where we're headed....
> 73,
> Mark N8MH
> On Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 8:52 AM, Roger <Rogerkola at aol.com> wrote:
> >
> > Hi Clint...
> >
> > As the husband of a Middle School Math/Science teacher, I could use
> links to
> > Lesson Plans built around any of the receivable satellites that would
> help
> > garner interest in these kids during their "formative" years.
> >
> > With all the emphasis on testing and measurable results in the classroom,
> > teachers have scant time to develop interesting science projects that are
> > outside the state and federal "frameworks" and won't be tested for at the
> > end of the year.
> >
> > There must be a treasure trove of pre-existing lesson plans and
> > incorporation ideas which she could tap into bringing Amateur Satellites
> or
> > satellites in general into the classroom.
> >
> > Roger
> > WA1KAT
> >>
> >> -----Original Message----- From: Clint Bradford
> >> Sent: Saturday, November 19, 2011 5:39 PM
> >> To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
> >> Subject: [amsat-bb] Re: In School ARSSat Demos / lessons
> >>
> >>>> ... With ARISSat-1's main mission being Educational I would like to
> hear
> >>>> about people's experiences with schools in using ARISSat-1 as a
> teaching
> >>>> tool ...
> >>
> >> What do you need? Classroom lessons abound for all aspects of amateur
> >> radio as it applies to the satellites - from elementary school to
> college
> >> classrooms.
> >>
> >> Each ARISS contact has a lot of work "behind the scenes" at the
> campuses.
> >> There are phenomenal teachers and school administrations who really get
> >> behinds their ARISS projects.
> >>
> >> Be a little more specific with what you need - and I can either assist
> >> you, or point you towards excellent resources.
> >>
> >> Clint Bradford, K6LCS
> --
> Mark L. Hammond [N8MH]
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