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Kuss Middle School Success


I am pleased to report that the Matthew J. Kuss Middle School, Fall River 
Massachusetts, had an extremely successful contact with astronaut John 
Phillips on the ISS.  With an audience of well over 100 looking on from two 
Kuss Middle School locations, 12 students from two NASA Explorer Schools 
asked astronaut Phillips 22 inquisitive questions before the ISS set at the 
Fall River school.

The students, family, faculty and local dignitaries watched the events 
unfold in the school library, where the amateur radio station, W1ACT, was 
set up.  A hundred yards away, a secondary site was set up at a church with 
audio and video using amateur radio television where students, friends and 
the community gathered to watch the contact.  Of the 12 students selected 
to ask questions, 6 of them--all young ladies--were ham radio 
operators.  As the student hams asked their questions, they announced their 
names and proudly stated their ham radio callsign before asking the 
question.  Ten of the students asking questions were from the Kuss Middle 
School.  In a NASA Explorer School (NES) partnership, teacher Danielle 
Hartkern, from the Central Park Middle School, Schenectady, NY brought 
several of her students to Fall River to witness and participate in the 
contact.  Two of the Central Park 7th grade science students, Kathryn and 
Brionna, were among the twelve that talked to astronaut Phillips.

The event drew a great deal of media attention with television stations 
including NBC affiliate, WJAR (Channel 10), Fox affiliate WPRI (Channel 
12), ABC affiliate WLNE (Channel 6), Comcast Local Channel 9, and Fall 
River Educational Television (FRED-TV).  Newspapers in attendance included 
the Fall River Spirit and the Fall River Herald News.  In addition, the 
Museum of Science, Boston, was doing a documentary of the school contact.

Long after the contact was successfully completed and the school was 
letting out for the day, the 12 students, Kuss faculty members Joe Cote, 
KB1LJG and Pam Tickle, the local ham volunteers from the FallRiver A.R.C./ 
Bristol County Repeater Association led by Roland Daignault Jr, N1JOY, all 
were beaming from ear to ear.  As one faculty member stated, "this is an 
event that will stay with all of us for a lifetime."
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