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RE: ARISS



Luc Leblanc wrote:

>I arrange an HF qso's session between students of two school about 60
>students take their first experience in ham radio. I manage also to make
>some DX contacts to impress the crowd but i failed short when students told

>me that they do the same each evening when chatting on MSN...and they added
>too the sound was much better no crakink, no noise, and no donald duck
>voice...

Congratulations.  I applaud your efforts.  You've done more than most.
Still, I don't think that you can blame ARISS when kids ask uncomfortable
questions about the relevance of ham radio.  In fact, I think their
questions are great because it shows you've engaged them.  Yet you better
have some good answers if you expect them to take the next step, and I
suspect that most people don't, which is why these opportunities often fall
short.  You might also consider that the choice of demos, hooking up a QSO
between two schools, might not be what it may take to get a 21st century
class excited.  I haven't thought enough about it, but I might choose APRS
or another digital mode to show the convergence of radio and computers in a
way that shows something unique, while at the same time talking about the
breadth of the hobby.

But perhaps you are questioning the value of promoting to students at all.
I think that we need to get young people involved if ham radio and satcom
are going to survive long term.  The hobby will surely evolve as a result,
and some old traditions like mailed QSL cards may go by the wayside, but the
hobby will be reinvigorated as a result.

Mike McGowan - KU1X



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