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RE: ARISS



Mike, Luc, etal:

At 11:55 AM 7/11/03 -0700, Mike McGowan wrote:
>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.

EXACTLY....right!  These kids are sharp and on top of it...you better be
ready.  So if you have kids at home you can find out in advance what some
of those challenges might be (ask them).  Last night, I attended our local
ham club in one of the member's home.  There were two young men (11 & 13)
that were checking out ham radio (my thought at the time was would they be
bored with all us old farts).

Later over cookies and cake, I was asked whether I was still doing EME.  I
asked the boys if they knew what moonbounce was.  Well I ended up
volunteering to host a meeting in the future to demo that.  Later, I
thought on how weak, barely legible, cw might not have the desired effect,
but JT-44 might be the "trick"!  Maybe if AO-40 is "up" we can squeeze a
demo in, too!

  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.

In the meeting I found that one of our member's had set up an APRS-IG so
our local (So Cen AK) APRS activity will now show on www.findu.com (that
ought to excite Bob B.).  I proceeded to mention PC-Sat on 145.825 but
quickly realized I was woefully in lack of details to that proper.

>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

Finally, this and associated threads are timely....time we the members woke
and took and active interest and participation in Amsat.

Regarding the effectivity of our demos to the youth...you may not know what
and how much influence you have until many years has past!  I recently had
that experience...but then that is another story ;-)

Ed - AL7EB

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