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Author Topic: Youth Learning Tips  (Read 74738 times)
N2VNF
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Posts: 1




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« on: June 06, 2016, 08:02:36 AM »

My wife surprised me the other day when she said that this summer, I should teach her and my 2 daughters about Amateur Radio, and work to get their licenses!  Shocked  I thought she was kidding at first, since she's always been one of the big believers of the Ham = Geek equation (of which I am proudly both!) .

Anyway, in looking at how to get my kids (ages 9 and 11) to understand the questions and requirements of a Technician License, I haven't been able to find anything that is more geared towards kids.  We know that kids learn differently.  My kids do very well in school (more so than when I was in school)...but I'm looking for some kid-focused training/educational/reference materials.

Has anyone else had any success in this quest to get their kids on-the-air?

73's
Ash
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KI4OYV
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Posts: 23




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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2016, 11:55:18 AM »

A few tips for teaching children.
1. GO SLOW! Don't rush. Let what your teaching sink into their minds.
2 KISS Keep It Simple Stupid  Don't use too much tech jargon. Explain in everyday English what you said.
3. Ask simple question that are similar to those on the actual tests. Make it easier to understand.
4. DON'T GET FRUSTRATED if they don't catch on right away. It may take a few times for them to grasp.

Best OF Luck

73
KI4OYV
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AB1LT
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Posts: 82




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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2016, 08:33:22 AM »

Kids that age have amazing memories.  My son got his tech and general when he was 11.  I taught him about waves and reflections using water analogies, but most of it he did by grinding through the online practice tests.  

Don't worry too much about getting them to understand the theory.  If they stick with the hobby the theory will come in time.  Just make sure they know the rules and procedures enough to stay out of trouble.

Remember that by memorizing the correct test answers they really are learning some things, especially when it comes to the rules.

Here's some (hopefully) useful tips:
Waves:
I set up my O-scope, signal generator and a small loud speaker.  I let him play with the frequency and amplitude so he could see and hear sine waves.

Then I connected the speaker to the O-scope so it worked like a microphone.  I got a wine glass and some tubular wind chimes and let him ring them and see the waves.  One point I emphasized is nature likes to make smooth sine waves.  I had him visualize the waves in a fish tank you see from the side, and waves from a pebble thrown in a calm pond.  They all look like what's on the o-scope.

Reflections:
I had him visualize a narrow channel of water opening out into a lake.  Drop a rock in the beginning of the channel and the waves go down the channel and out into the lake.  Block or just partially block the opening to the lake and the waves come back.  Most kids can visualize that.

The best moment was when we were at a neighbor's house who had their pool cover on.  The cover was held down by long water bags.  My son stepped on one end of a bag and watched a wave go down the length of the bag, then return back.  "Hey dad!  Just like in ham radio!" Grin


« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 08:46:25 AM by AB1LT » Logged
N7EKU
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Posts: 501




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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2016, 08:35:25 AM »

Hi Ash,

A great one for beginners is the old ARRL book "How to Become a Radio Amateur".  It covers the real basics of electronics and radio, along with some history of amateur radio and on the air operating.  The material is old, but still applies and is at a great level for beginners.  Copies can be found on eBay and Amazon pretty cheaply and easily.

73,


Mark.

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Mark -- N7EKU/VE3
ONAIR
Member

Posts: 2648




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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2016, 01:19:20 AM »

Hi Ash,

A great one for beginners is the old ARRL book "How to Become a Radio Amateur".  It covers the real basics of electronics and radio, along with some history of amateur radio and on the air operating.  The material is old, but still applies and is at a great level for beginners.  Copies can be found on eBay and Amazon pretty cheaply and easily.

73,


Mark.


 Parts of it are actually available free online!  Smiley   http://www.w7ekb.com/glowbugs/books/ar55how/index.htm
« Last Edit: June 27, 2016, 01:22:43 AM by ONAIR » Logged
AA4HA
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Posts: 1990




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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2016, 09:37:25 AM »

Youth are better at learning theory than adults are; since they were five years old they have been in "learning-mode". Only as adults do we sit back and say "I have learned enough, now I can forget how to learn".

Give things in small pieces, explain the "why", do not get impatient and only move on to the next subject after they have completely understood the previous concept.

You can do some really neat things with a battery, a hand-full of resistors an LED and a DVMM. The entire relationship of Ohms law, watts and the basics of diodes can be taught. Make a crystal radio just for the fun of it, have them wind their own coil. Make a spark-gap transmitter with a small relay so they can hear it on the crystal radio.

Help your child find their "inner geek", teach them cool little tricks they can do with simple components to show off to their friends.

I am not a fan of "memorizing the test". you really do not learn anything that sticks with you over the long-haul. While they may get through and earn their tech class they will not have a clue on what it takes to become a general or extra (unless it is more memorization). Not understanding the basics will lead to frustration.

----------------------
They are your daughters, reinforce in them that they are just as good as boys in doing this stuff. That is what my parents did for me.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
Free space loss (dB) = 32.4 + 20 × log10d + 20 × log10 f
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