John Keslo, W1MBG, and I (both members of the Nashua Area Radio Club) recently had the chance to visit the Academy for Science and Design (ASD) in Nashua, New Hampshire, to provide an Introduction to Amateur Radio for the students there. ASD’s goal is to be a world-class school specializing in science, engineering, mathematics, and design for students in grades 6-12. ASD periodically holds SPARK (Symposium Promoting Advancement of Real-world Knowledge) conferences, which enable ASD students to learn about areas that might help them to develop careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Math (STEM). The students at ASD are extremely bright and are highly motivated to develop STEM careers. We had about 45 students elect to attend the two sessions that John and I presented.
After some introductions and a little time spent by John and me to explain how Amateur Radio has led each of us to careers in Engineering, we showed the group a video entitled Discovering Amateur Radio. This video provides an excellent introduction to Amateur Radio and we have used it successfully in many settings include the Nashua Area Radio Club sponsored Technician License Training Classes that we have been doing.
John and I setup a portable HF Radio Station at the school to enable us to demonstrate Amateur Radio to the students. We used an Elecraft KX3 Transceiver with an outboard PX3 Pan Adapter and a KPA100 Amplifier (100W).
We also built a 20m Vertical Antenna with elevated radials outside the school. We used the Buddipole Antenna System to build this very effective antenna for the demonstration.
The students were very interested in the radio setup and antennas and asked quite a few questions about both the setup and how they could get involved in Amateur Radio. John and I were able to get on the air and make several contacts. The operators that we contacted spoke with some of the kids and shared their experiences with Amateur Radio which made the session great fun for everyone involved.
We were honored to have the Governor of the State of NH, Maggie Hassan visit our ASD SPARK session. The picture above shows John explaining Amateur Radio and how we were using it to help forward the goals of ASD students.
It was very rewarding and fun for John and me to participate in SPARK day at the Nashua Academy for Science and Design. I hope we’ll have a chance to do this again.
– Fred, AB1OC