SOAR 2020-01

S.O.A.R. January 2020

Students Operating Amateur Radios

Students Operating Amateur Radios (S.O.A.R.) is a project Kitty KN4LNK started to plan for in the late fall of 2019. During the Morgan County ARES NET she asked for fellow radio operators who could be available for a simple radio contact with the kids. That quickly evolved into the BSFARC springing into action to help with her project. Rather than have the students talk to an adult they did not know we began to plan for a Morgan County to Scott County Student to Student exchange (QSO).

The team got busy creating a flyer to help gain some support from both administrators and students alike. Each participant was to receive a unique QSL card along with a certificate of participation. The idea is that the student would take these home and could be a conversation starter. The inaugural event was a SOAR NET on the 147.255 Morgan County repeater on January 24th 2020 from 3:30pm to about 5:30pm.

Students from K-5 grades from Morgan County Elementary School and students (K-5 grades) from Scott County Boy’s and Girl’s club participated in this STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) event. Students were be informed on proper radio procedures and a brief overview on Amateur Radio will be provided for them as well.

Each student had the opportunity to make contact with another student from the other county. They introduced themselves (first name only) and either what grade they are in or something like their favorite subject in school or color. Then they asked a question to the other student over the radio as we will do a guessing exercise.

While there were no set goals for the first event the gears are already turning for the next time. We welcome any thoughts, suggestions and comments from both radio operators and parents.

Bill (KC8SPV) provided an overview of amateur (ham) radio to the students.
Photo credit: Nancy KC8VTT
The golf ball on the table was the object the Morgan County students were trying to guess. These 3 YLs (young ladies) took to the airwaves like a disc jockey! The youngest (at the microphone) was in kindergarten.
Some were very talkative as this ‘operator’ wanted to share about her family’s pets.
Everyone had the opportunity to make a contact over the airwaves.
Some were a bit bashful at first but their eyes would light up when the other station would speak to them personally.
The guessing game was more of an ice-breaker as it gave the students something to talk about and increased the question/answer skills. They also had to listen carefully and provide accurate responses to the other station’s questions.
The Morgan County students were not quite sure what to make of ham radio at first. Notice the fly swatter and other objects on the desk for Scott students to guess?
The students were beyond excited and fascinated with ham radio.
The Morgan County students operated from a truly portable station as it had a self contained battery pack.
Central Elementary School and their pink spider! Students took turns and passed the microphone between each other under the control of Kitty KN4LNK.
Listening intently as to what the other students had to say and the questions that were asked.
S.O.A.R. In the News