We had a great first physical science class on Wednesday in PreUpper. The 8th graders spent their time working on a get to know you student survey which opened up a conversation about a variety of things such as what the students did over the summer and what makes for a productive learning environment. The students also completed a classroom scavenger hunt to get a feel for where classroom materials and lab equipment is in the classroom. I am looking forward to a great year! Pictured is Tom Leuder and Rayna Doniparthi exploring the science classroom.
Please congratulate PreUpper students Andrew Buchberger and Eli Gelernter on their success at the end of the Ham Radio License Prep Winter Learning seminar led by Martha. Andrew presently has the call sign KN4IVE/AG which indicates that he successfully passed the FCC test to earn his General Class Amateur Radio Operator's license, the second level of ham radio license. Eli earned his first level of ham license by passing the Technician level exam.
Both exams required those students to study and master a great deal of information on the physics, regulations, and best practices for operating the variety of equipment now included in the Amateur Radio spectrum.
No longer is Amateur Radio limited to the dots and dahs of Morse code, though the students in this seminar had the opportunity to tap out a few words. One day, we used the ham radio station in Martha's room to chat on the radio with hams in the local area using the 2 meter radio. Another day, students had the opportunity to chat with folks on the "HF" radio.
The highlight of the week had to be the trip to Mack McCormick's house. Mack has an amazing collection of Amateur Radio equipment from the World War II era through to the most recent and cutting edge. He recently installed a new antenna in his yard which he used to bounce radio signals off of satellites as they passed over his house while we were there.
After a final review and a couple of practice tests, students in the seminar settled down to take the licensing exam. FCC regulations require a certain number of certified examiners be present to give the exam. Martha invited some of her ham friends with that certification to come in and give the test to the MSA students.
Normally, test candidates who pass a license exam would have their official license and call sign the next day but due to the government shutdown, Eli and Andrew will have to wait for their licenses to become official for a while.
Pictured: Jim Stafford, Elden Morris, Andrew Buchberger, Eli Gelernter, and Marvin Wilken after Andrew and Eli passed their ham radio license exams.