School contact Questions
(These questions and answers are based on material prepared by the ARRL and NASA.)
HOW CAN I -- A TEACHER -- GET STARTED IN ARISS?
All schools, including the eight ISS partner countries are required to submit an ARISS application and an "Educational Proposal."
Applications are available on this web site at: http://www.rac.ca/ariss/oindex.htm
Schools from the ISS partner countries are selected for contacts from these applications. (Currently we have about 50 schools waiting for a contact.)
Scheduled contacts give the schools a 95% chance at a successful contact. Ten or more students at each school ask the ISS crew questions, and the nature of these contacts embodies the primary goal of ARISS--to excite student interest in learning. The normal wait for a contact is 1 year. Until your school contact has been scheduled, your classes can participate by eavesdropping, or by trying to make a random contact with the astronauts. Imagine listening in on the ISS crew from your classroom. Educational material is available from ARRL or you can download material from the NASA Education website.
If you are a schoolteacher, but are unfamiliar with ham radio, you can still take part in ARISS. Visit http://www.rac.ca/cdn_clubs/ to find a list of local Amateur Radio clubs to ask for assistance.
If you are a parent, grandparent and/or an amateur radio operator, contact RAC and a local school. RAC will send materials, including ways to convince teachers and school administrators that Amateur Radio is an important discipline the school should take advantage of on a full-time basis.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A SCHOOL RADIO CONTACT?
The International Space Station (ISS) crews are now making school amateur radio contacts from the ISS. If your school is interested in ARISS, you must submit both an ARISS application and an Educational Proposal to:
Maurice-André Vigneault, VE3VIG
PH2-400 Montfort St.
RAC collects these for the committee that makes the final selection with input from the ISS crew. All grade levels and type of schools (rural, suburban and particularly urban) are encouraged to apply.
ARISS school applications are available at http://www.rac.ca/ariss/oindex.htm .
An Educational Proposal must accompany all completed applications. Your Educational Proposal should include answer to these questions:
1) How will you: a) integrate this activity into the school curriculum and b) involve as many grade levels as you can, participating through essay contests, poster drawing, letter writing, etc.?
2) Do you have an experienced group of hams to assist in setting up all necessary Amateur Radio equipment and antennas?
3) How will you get as much media coverage as possible?
HOW WILL I KNOW IF MY SCHOOL IS SELECTED FOR A CONTACT?
Schools that have been selected for ARISS scheduled contacts are contacted by a school mentor. NASA requires selections to be made several months in advance. If a school is not chosen, its application is recycled for future use. Schools typically wait one year or longer.
ARE THERE VIDEOS ON AMATEUR RADIO IN SPACE?
Yes. You and your class can enjoy watching students talk to astronauts via ham radio.
Checkout the RAC Audio-Visual Library for videos about amateur radio in space.
HOW DO I GET AN ARISS QSL?
QSL cards are similar to postcards. Hams exchange QSLs to confirm their radio contacts with other stations. Participating in ARISS is an exhilarating experience. But waiting for that coveted QSL card requires patience. Designing a card for the ultimate DXpedition is a lengthy process. Once the cards are printed, RAC forwards them to the Amateur Radio club managing the QSLs.
Send your QSL cards or reports to RAC.
Please include your QSL or report: date, time in UTC, frequency and mode (voice, packet or sstv).
If you wish to receive a card, you must include a large, self-addressed, stamped envelope with proper postage or sufficient IRCs included.
CAN I BECOME A HAM?
Amateur Radio operators, or "hams," are people from all walks of life--no matter your age, gender or physical ability. Getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier!
Visit the beginners page on this web site, http://www.rac.ca/regulatory/arast.htm or
Contact RAC to request a free New Ham Package.