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Author Topic: Elementary School Ham Radio Clubs  (Read 14396 times)

Posts: 2

« on: December 25, 2000, 07:25:28 PM »

I am interested in starting a ham radio club at the elementary school where I work. We have Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups meeting at our school and I am planning to give a radio demonstration and offer to assist anyone interested in pursuing a radio badge. I have given a class demonstration at my school.

I would like to hear from anyone who has started a club at this level (K-4) or from anyone working with a group on this level.

Philippa, KB4GYC

Posts: 20

« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2001, 10:17:06 AM »

I just saw this today so maybe my reply is too late.

My xyl AC3F and I ran a program called "Packet Pals" for 4th and 5th graders at our local elementary school from 1994 to 1996.  It was a pen-pal program in which we sent letters from our students to those of cooperating schools via packet radio. We tied the program to the social studies and science curricula of the school.

When we presented the idea to the schools fifth grade teachers and principal they were very cooperative. The first year we were allowed to set up an antenna on the roof and the kids had fun getting their letters and sending them. We set up an HF demonstration and they got to talk to their packet pals at one of the school via 40 meters.

The next fall the pricnicpal allowed us to expand the program.  We got a club call and the school purchased some vhf equipment and donated a computer to the effort.  That Christmas season we had a "letters to Santa event" where the kids in "Packet Pals" would send letters for the K - 4 students to a station in Canada that would send replies from Santa.
All in all the facutly, parents and kids were happy with the program. We even had a demonstration at the regional Board of Education expo.

Then it happened.

The fifth grade teacher who was our sponsor left. The principal who allowed us to start and supported us in every way was transferrred.  The incoming principal and replacement teacher did not understand what we were about. At the end of the second year our program was cancelled. The new administration did not want any external distractions to the students.

The antennas came down.  We bought the vhf equipment from the school to keep it out of unlicensed hands.

The moral I guess is be careful when starting up school programs. Be sure to have the backing of a faculty member who will be on board for the long haul.
Better yet, see if you can get that person licensed.


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