Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)

Image of ISS passing over Burns (SkyView app screenshot)
Image of ISS passing over Burns (SkyView app screenshot)
NASA’s ARISS Project

Burns Science & Technology Charter School was chosen as one of only 18 schools in the United States to participate in the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Project in partnership with the Daytona Beach Amateur Radio Association. Burns Sci Tech students connected with the astronauts on board the International Space Station on Sept 13, 2012. They asked questions of US Naval Cpt. Sunita Williams, as the International Space Station was passing over Burns school. She answered each question with interesting information about life on the space station, technologies in use, logistical issues like eating and sleeping in zero-gravity.

During the first five weeks of school, before the “visit” everyone took part in
the preparation – learning about NASA, amateur radio, space, the International
Space Station and space technology across the curriculum. Students in all grades
prepared questions for the astronauts on the space station. One student from
each grade was chosen to read two questions. The connections with the ISS
were made possible through the Daytona Beach Amateur Radio Club, who were
responsible for the planning, setup and monitoring of the Electronic Technology.
Large flat screen monitors and speakers were placed around the school so all
students were able to see the video link with the space station and hear the
conversation. Many families, friends, local dignitaries and the media were on
hand for the event.

The ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) program is a
cooperative venture of NASA, the ARRL and AM-SAT that organizes scheduled
contacts between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the ISS and students, like
those attending Burns SciTech. An important goal of this NASA program is to
inspire an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects
and STEM careers among young people; provide an educational opportunity for
students, teachers and the general public to learn about space exploration, space
technologies and satellite communications.

Burns School was also awarded an equipment grant. A Burns Sci-Tech science
teacher applied and also received a full scholarship for summer study at the
Teacher Institute for Wireless Technology at the National ARRL Headquarters in
Connecticut.