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Academy for Science and Design SPARK Day

John Keslo, W1MBG, Jamey Finchum, KC1ENX, and I recently had the chance to again be part of SPARK Day at the Academy for Science and Design (ASD) in Nashua, New Hampshire. We attended SPARK Day to provide an Introduction to Amateur Radio for the students at ASD. ASD’s goal is to be a world-class school that specializes in science, engineering, mathematics, and design. The school provides education 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 which might help them to develop careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Math (STEM).

SPARK Day Group Learning About Amateur Radio
ASD Group Learning About Amateur Radio

The students at ASD are extremely bright and are highly motivated to develop STEM careers. We had about 65 students elect to attend the two sessions that we presented. The kids showed a lot of interested in our presentations and demonstrations.

SPARK Day Classroom Activities


Explaining the HAB to the ASD Students at SPARK Day
Explaining the HAB to the ASD Students

We began each session with some classroom time where we explained what Amateur Radio is about and some of our club’s Amateur Radio projects. We talked about and showed components of our High Altitude Balloon Project, our Satellite Ground Station and our Field Day activities. The interest level among the kids was high and lots of questions were asked.



Making an HF Contact using our GOTA Station at SPARK Day
Making an HF Contact using our GOTA Station

We also put together an HF GOTA station in the lobby of the school. This gave the kids a chance to get on the air and experience Amateur Radio first hand. After the kids got over the usual “mic-fright”, they had a lot of fun.

We are looking forward to our next opportunity to participate in ASD’s SPARK Day in the fall. This is one of the most enjoyable events of the year for me.

Fred, AB1OC

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