Upper Elementary Students Launch First-Ever Amateur Radio Club
Last week Upper Elementary students began an exciting journey of exploration into amateur radio. The curriculum, which dynamically integrates language arts, algebra, physics, geography, meteorology, graphic arts, industrial fabrication, computer science, and social studies into the UE course of study, allows for authentic, interactive, and tangible connections with the world of science and technology.
It also serves as a wonderful vehicle to increase children’s awareness of world cultures while promoting international goodwill and celebrating commonalities that all human beings share.
One of the club’s primary objectives is to prepare the students to pass the Technician Class exam (a 35-question, multiple-choice test pulled from a pool of 426 questions) and receive their official FCC operator’s license and call sign.
Students began their first club meeting by discussing basic concepts of electrical circuitry. Afterwards, students had the opportunity to operate as third-party traffic on the 2m amateur radio band serving central North Carolina from southern Virginia to the South Carolina border (145.210, The Blackjack Repeater, located on the WRAL tower in Auburn, NC).
While on the radio, students practiced good operating procedures, introduced the club and its mission to the 145.210 community, and asked licensed hams questions about how lightning strikes affect radio equipment.
During the spring semester, the amateur radio club has plans to establish a base station in the classroom and install 2m and HF antennas on site. Other activities include registration to make contact with the International Space Station, building a crystal radio and a simple circuit, visiting the South Wake Amateur Radio Club station, designing club QSL cards, learning Morse code, contacting and mapping stations outside of our state and our country, and engaging with local emergency communications officials to learn how amateur radio can become a lifeline in times of disaster.
An after-school spring Amateur Radio Club is in the works and will serve to supplement and enhance the Tuesday club curriculum that is ongoing in the Upper Elementary classroom.
73, Ms. Nancy, KM4KUT