PEMBROKE STUDENTS PREPARE FOR AN OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD EXPERIENCE
Written by Alex Feig on January 4, 2019
In a rare and unique opportunity, several Pembroke students will make contact with astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) via amateur radio. Pembroke was one of only seven schools world-wide selected for this round of contacts, which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 10:28 AM in the auditorium of Pembroke Jr./Sr. High School in Corfu, NY.
This activity is part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Program (ARISS), which promotes learning opportunities as part of the Science, Technology, Education, and Math (STEM) initiative. This unique experience will provide an educational opportunity for Pembroke students to learn about wireless technology and radio science through amateur radio.
The ARISS event will be managed by an international consortium of amateur radio organizations and space agencies including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium at SUNY Buffalo State, and members of the Genesee County Radio Amateurs (GRAM) Club.
“This is a challenging and exciting opportunity for students to learn about space travel and exploration, how the astronauts live and work in space, and how students can–even at a young age–become radio amateurs for the emerging field of interplanetary communications,” said Melissa Payne Smith, a science teacher at Pembroke’s Jr./Sr. High School.
Pamela Ware, Corfu resident and member of GRAM, holds an FCC amateur extra license and is the liaison for the team of radio operators who will provide hands-on training and experience for Pembroke students. She and Mrs. Payne Smith–with the support of additional faculty, staff, and students at Pembroke–have spent several months coordinating their efforts in order to be chosen to speak with an astronaut at the International Space Station. “From the minute Pam and I spoke, we believed that this would be an incredible opportunity for the students here at Pembroke. We spent hours planning, developing, and organizing our resources in the hopes of our school being selected. Multiple proposals were submitted, revised, and resubmitted during this process. It’s an honor for our school district to have been chosen for this,” shared Payne Smith.
Pembroke will continue to work with its partners to coordinate the exact date and time in January when students will be speaking with the International Space Station via amateur radio. In the weeks ahead, twenty Pembroke students will be chosen to participate in the transmission, and final technical preparations will take place. This learning experience, multi-faceted in academic and in real-world applications, has a much deeper meaning; students are learning that the sky, in fact, is not the limit.
ABOUT Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS): ARISS lets students worldwide experience the excitement of talking directly with crew members of the International Space Station, inspiring them to pursue interests in careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and engaging them with radio science technology through amateur radio. Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) inspires students, worldwide, to pursue interests and careers in science, technology, engineering and math through amateur radio communications opportunities with the International Space Station (ISS) on-orbit crew. Students learn about life on board the ISS and explore Earth from space through science and math activities. ARISS provides opportunities for the school community (students, teachers, families and community members) to become more aware of the substantial benefits of human spaceflight and the exploration and discovery that occur on spaceflight journeys. Students have the opportunity to learn about space technologies and the technologies involved with space communications through exploration of amateur radio.