Indian Trails Middle School is in the preparation stage for a rare event that will allow students to make contact via amateur radio with an astronaut currently aboard the International Space Station.
The event, which is scheduled to take place the week of Nov. 12, is made possible through Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, a cooperative venture among NASA, international space agencies and worldwide amateur radio groups that coordinate scheduled radio contacts between schools and astronauts aboard the station. The 10-minute live forum will bounce between students and astronauts as the astronauts orbit 250 miles above Earth.
As a result of a proposal submitted by the Flagler Palm Coast Amateur Radio Club earlier in the year, Indian Trails Middle School is among various U.S. sites hosting an space station contact this fall.
Eager to share the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with its community, Indian Trails is working with members of the Flagler Palm Coast Amateur Radio Club, the Palm Coast Astronomy Club, district personnel, teachers and student ambassadors from across the school district to organize an event that will include guest speakers from Embry-Riddle Aeronautic University along with an array of space exhibits designed by students.
The planning committee, led by District STEM Coordinator Jose Nunez, is in the process of synchronizing the technical and educational aspects of the radio contact. Teachers will generate enthusiasm for the event through lesson plans that connect amateur radio, space astronomy, NASA and the space station to the K-8 curriculum.
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station and Teaching from Space, a NASA education office, encourage participating schools to lay such groundwork as part of their goal to instill interest in science, technology, engineering and math subjects and careers among students.