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Author Topic: Proposing a school ham radio club?  (Read 3988 times)
WP4NXA
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Posts: 48




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« on: April 27, 2008, 03:26:26 PM »

Has anyone has the experience of proposing to start a ham club at a high school? What ways would you go about doing it? Please give me as much info as possible, I would like to try to start one at my school.
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K8AC
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2008, 03:52:06 PM »

Since no one who's actually done it has responded, perhaps I can give you some ideas.  It might be very helpful if you can find a teacher to help you get organized.  When I was in high school, all clubs had a teacher as the advisor and you might even be able to find a teacher who is a ham.  Science, physics or chemistry teachers would be a good place to look.  If you can't find a teacher who is a ham, approach a teacher you know who teaches a science-related subject and ask for his/her help.  

You should have an outline covering the purpose of the club, how many members you might have, and what you expect from the school.  Start simple and ask only for a place to meet - save talk about a possible station and antennas for later.  If your school budget is tight, any request that requires money might result in early failure.  Be prepared to explain to whomever must approve your request how it will benefit student members and perhaps how it might cast the school in a good light.  For example, hams are often involved in tornado spotting and disaster communications and that might create some favorable publicity for the school.  People are always impressed by amateur satellite communications so that's another angle.  

Another thing to emphasize might be how club members can use what they learn in amateur radio to prepare for a future career.  There's an area where you might be able to get a guidance counselor interested in helping.  Many hams, including myself, have built careers based on what they learned in amateur radio.  

One last point: I'd use the terminology "amateur radio club" rather than ham radio club.  I've heard comments from those who know nothing of the hobby regarding the use of the word "ham".  When they ask what "ham" means, you really won't have an answer because the history of that term is rather foggy at best.  I've seen radio operating referred to in the press as "hamming it up" and that just doesn't conjure up an image of serious people doing something worthwhile.  

Just thought of another thing - see if you can find out how another recent club in your school was established.  Talk to the club's advisor and get their ideas on a good approach to forming a new club.

Best of luck in getting your club established.  I wish we had had a radio club in my high school many years ago.  We certainly had many more teenage hams in those days and I don't know why a club didn't develop.  Probably because we had no idea on how to start one!

73, Floyd - K8AC
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WA4D
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Posts: 113


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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2008, 02:14:24 PM »

K8AC tells WP4NXA all the ways to get the club going without any reference to learning, curiculum or educational relevance. How to scam the budget, buzz word use, and school marketing ("cast the school in a good light").  Typically self centered.

WP4NXA....tell us of your student's test scores? How do they compare with students in Prgaue, Banglador or Haiphong?  What is the intellectual basis for your decision? (Or is this just another, "I'm a ham" so they'll like it too" idea?)

Here's a better idea. Spend time doing real teaching instead of looking to push your hobby on the kids. Teach them the old fashioned way. With imaginative lectures. Spark their young minds without reference to an irrelevant hobby.  Do you use IM? Video conferencing? Collaboration tools? 3D Creation? Grid Networks?  Of course you don't. You're a school teacher. . These are the contemporary tools kids need to master. Not the analog methodology of ham radio.

Discard K8AC's tired and predictable response. Come into the future and leave ham radio where it belongs. Stuck in the analog past and in rest homes around the nation.
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WP4NXA
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2008, 03:02:13 PM »

I'm actually a student myself and thought it to be a preety cool thing to have at my school.
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AE0Z
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2008, 12:54:37 PM »

This is excruciatingly funny!

Mr. Whatley, most cynical posts like this are depressing; yours made me laugh out loud.  Start out by airing your bias that all ham radio operators are stuck in the 50s AND all school teachers are incompetent, completely miss that this was a student asking for help (in the Youth Forum of all places!), and insult another's constructive post: a real tour de force!
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Howard AE0Z
1 Peter 4:10
AE0Z
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2008, 09:30:50 AM »

Check out the following:

http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/club/club-kit/club-kit.pdf

This might give you some ideas about starting your club.

Howard AB9FH
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Howard AE0Z
1 Peter 4:10
KB3LAZ
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Posts: 8


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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2008, 08:37:57 PM »

First off I would not push the issue of career strengthening. Most kids dont want to hear that from a club. They just want to have fun. Now you will have more members if you diversify your search, you dont want to look for people from math and science clubs only. As hams are vary diverse. I would start out with a simple flier. Then hold a meeting, once you have actually drawn in a crowd you must convince them. Show them all aspects of the hobby. A hands on demonstration would probably be the best. I would bring in a radio and antenna and show them what can be done. Maybe even show them amateur radio web sites. If all goes well and you have formed a club, you must now draw in funds for expansion. With out funds the club is obviously not going to flourish. As with most clubs simple fund raisers should do the trick. Also if the crowd you intend  
to draw in are not hams you will need to provide licensing information. So maybe you can even arrange a seminar at your school, or have them attend one after school.

As for proposing it to the school staff just go at it straight. Say I would like to start a club for amateur radio and will need a place to hold meetings. Most schools will not have a problem with this and will most likely encourage it.

Good luck and 73      
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AE0Z
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2008, 10:14:59 AM »

One other opinion based on third party information: school administrations, especially principals, tend to have poor opinions of ham radio as being "old".  The science teachers tend to have more of an open mind.  This is the experience of ham club presidents in the Wisconsin area anyway.

One other suggestion: get information on ARRL Teachers Institute and give to science/math department at your school.  The institute gives training on how to use technology in the classroom, including but not restricted to ham radio.
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Howard AE0Z
1 Peter 4:10
KB1LQD
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2008, 09:13:21 AM »

Hey i just randomly canme by this forum again. I co-founded my high school club and very active in the "revival" if you wold of the RIT amateur radio club... Check on the QRZ Forums for topics like this. And don't give up if you want to do it. Kids want a fun club so emphisize that! but its about radio and electronics as well, you you present it truthfuly and well members will come!
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1741




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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2008, 10:50:46 PM »

   First start a CB radio club!  CBs can be had for peanuts today, and it can be a gateway into ham radio for those who get bitten by the "bug"!
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CLEBOT
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Posts: 100




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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2008, 07:52:12 AM »

Sorry to just be responding to this...

I recently started a club at Conroe High School in Conroe, TX (K2CHS).
It took a little while to do, but we are up and running and having a great time.

If you want to contact me about starting a club, drop me an e-mail to:
tigerhams@yahoo.com

I'd be happy to help.

73 and hope our club gets to talk to you soon.

Gerrit, KE5HVM
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VK4YEH
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2009, 02:29:01 AM »

I started a radio club at my school this year - I'm a teacher. I have to tell you that the road was not a smooth one and that you need few things to get it all to fall into place. My suggestions:
1) If you are a student get support from one of the staff. Typically I have found most interest in Science and Maths departments, but of course this is not alwys the case.
2) If there is no staff support, then get the support of you local club. If there is none there then find another club.
3) put you proposal in writing, including (not in any order):
* support network
* relevance to the curriculum
* other educational benefits. For example here in VK, the standard call is equivalent to a certificate tertiary course.
* information about other activities such as ARISS, ARDF, JOTA etc.
* time and venue
* costs involved including equipment, antennas, QSL cards etc. Be very thorough with this.
* where will the training come from. Online? Be specific
4) here in VK we need risk assessments before we can run activities with students. If that applies to you, make sure it is done properly - get help if you need to.

In summary be thorough and try to pre-empt any questions and objections. In my experience the bottom line will be the dollar.

Do you or you family and friends know of any businesses that would sponsor you in exchange for advertising in your "shack".

Good luck, It's definitely worth the battle.

Tim Roberts
VK4YEH

By the way my school club call is VK4CCR.
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