Spring 2006 Issue
The Orbital Classroom
Coordinating the Effort
By Dr. H. Paul Shuch, N6TX
The first-ever back-to-back ARISS QSOs took place on February 7, 2006. The first was with the Dale, Oklahoma public schools. The second was with the DeGolyer Elementary School, Dallas Texas. Students from the Dale school, plus others, are shown here gathered to listen to Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, respond to the DeGoyler school studentsí question. ARISS QSO mentor Keith Pugh, W5IU, is at the controls of the Dale ham radio station. (N6CL photo)
Having recently retired for the second time
(the first retirement, in 2004, was from academia; the second, just
recently, from industry), I was very pleased to accept appointment to the
post of Director of Education for AMSAT-NA. This new column, which will
appear from time to time in CQ VHF, is derived from material prepared for
the AMSAT Journal, and appears here by the kind permission of AMSAT. I
hope it will serve as a constructive forum for sharing educational
resources, and thus furthering AMSATís educational mission.
My first priority as AMSAT Director of Education will be to promote integrated curriculum development at all levels (kindergarten through PhD), with emphasis on using satellites in the classroom to enhance the teaching of science, math, geography, social studies, technology, and the social sciences. To accomplish this, I have turned to the AMSAT membership to lend what significant resources and expertise already exist within our organization. I invite all teachers within AMSAT to share with me their current, past, or planned use of satellites in the classroom, their instructional materials, and their desires in terms of future curricular development. All current or former professional teachers, curriculum developers, and school administrators within AMSATís ranks are invited to sign up as official AMSAT Educators (sign-up instructions will appear in the Orbital Classroom section of the AMSAT website). You will receive not only a nice certificate, but an opportunity to contribute materially to a coordinated and redoubled AMSAT educational effort.
I respectfully suggest that one key aspect of
doing anything in the U.S. educational arena is a need for those efforts
to be tied to the federal No Child Left Behind act, as well as the
published educational competencies and graduation standards established by
the various states. I hope to work together with our cadre of AMSAT
Educators to evaluate the competencies and standards in force in the
individual states so that our curriculum efforts can tie in to them to the
greatest possible extent. Of course, we being AMSAT NA, I rely upon the
expertise of our Canadian and Mexican AMSAT Educators to bring me up to
date on the educational standards and curriculum requirements throughout
the rest of North America.
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