[Updated January 18, 2021]
Students from four elementary schools in Kennebunk, Maine, including the Sea Road School, will have the opportunity to speak with astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 18:27 UTC, according to Rosalie White, K1STO, one of the two ARISS-US Delegates, and the delegate who represents ARRL.
Thomas Moyer, KB1VPD of New England Radio Discussion Society (NERDS) is named as the ham radio point of contact along with David Taylor, N1FCC.
According to their submitted proposal:
“NERDS offered to do a free course in electronics and radio fundamentals which includes DC and AC theory, semiconductor basics, applications, and digital electronics. NERDS, Great Bay Radio Association, and Port City Amateur Radio Club will provide technical expertise and help plan and present radio information and demonstrations and basic radio projects.
“The elementary STEM team for Maine Regional School Unit 21 see every class, K through 5th grade for 45 minutes every week. One of our main goals is to instill an engineering ‘thought process’ even in the youngest students. The ARISS contact will intertwine lessons we’ve been fine-tuning for years including coding, 3D printing, and robotics. Some specific lessons include: a NASA lesson on space communications titled ‘Signals and Noise Oh Boy’ and Google Glasses Expeditions on Northern Lights, space, and more. We want our students to be able to see themselves in future STEM careers. A cross-curriculum will have students researching and writing letters to the astronauts and about the ISS, calculating distances and measuring time for math, understanding the impact of gravity and how it varies on other planets for science. The Brick Store Museum has a STEM thrust and has hosted a six-month radio exhibit created by two hams of the NERDS. Kennebunk students and students bussed-in from other elementary schools visited the exhibit.”
Students will take turns asking their questions of Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG. Claudio Ariotti, IK1SLD, in Italy will serve as the ARISS relay amateur radio ground station. Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, has served as the ARISS Technical Mentor for the contact. The ISS callsign is scheduled to be OR4ISS. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHz.
The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for January 21, 2021 at 1:27 pm Eastern Time, (18:27 UTC). The contact will be live streamed and can be viewed at https://youtu.be/LN70OpJFMgs . The livestream is expected to begin at approximately 30 minutes before the contact time.
“Kennebunk Maine School Students Prepare to Contact International Space Station”
“Liftoff: Sea Road School Students to Chat With Space Station Astronaut“]