The ARRL Board of Directors’ Executive Committee has approved Education and Technology Program (ETP) grants to schools in Illinois, California, Ohio, and Connecticut. The funds will help three of the schools to establish Amateur Radio club stations by providing the necessary equipment, and aid one school in getting its radio club off the ground.
Zeigler-Royalton High School, in rural Zeigler, Illinois; Sato Academy, in Long Beach, California, and Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center, in Chillicothe, Ohio, will receive station grants, while E.O. Smith High School in Mansfield, Connecticut, will receive a progress grant, enabling it to build upon the school’s burgeoning Amateur Radio program. Sponsors for all four grants are alumni of the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology, who are implementing Amateur Radio as part of their school’s curriculum.
Teacher Miroslaw Klapyk, KC1GBT, at E.O. Smith High School took his initial Amateur Radio license test during a Teachers Institute session this past summer and promptly upgraded to Amateur Extra. Klapyk teaches more than 50 students in physics, and he plans to spend a week or two toward the end of the school year focusing on wireless communication, with an eye toward getting more students interested in the radio club. But, he told ARRL, that interest is already there. “I never advertised our club,” he said. “Yet since the start of the school year, we went from one to eight members. They just keep coming.” The school currently has some Amateur Radio station gear and the beginnings of an antenna system.
The Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center in Chillicothe, Ohio, requested Amateur Radio station equipment to augment the school’s engineering program and to attract other interested students into wireless and related technology. “The establishment of an Amateur Radio station would give impetus for students to become radio amateurs,” with a view toward getting them involved in public service communication, teacher David Pentecost, KC8WEB, said in the school’s application. Pickaway-Ross, he said, is “committed to helping underserved students in the Appalachian region of southern Ohio achieve success in a variety of technical fields.”
The Sato Academy Amateur Radio Emergency Communication team’s project in part focuses on establishing a demonstration station to train youngsters in using Amateur Radio for emergency communication. The school, which received a station grant, also wants “to help students learn to build and create circuit boards, such as those used in the Teachers Institute,” teacher Devon Day, KF6KEE, said in his school’s application.
At Zeigler-Royalton, teacher Lance Newman, KD9GOY, said he’s hoping to see more students become interested, pass their license exams, and spend time on the radio and working with the equipment. Newman said in the school’s application that he began the process of establishing a ham radio station at the school this fall, “to provide an extracurricular outlet for students interested in radio communication technologies.” But he’s hoping that Amateur Radio will offer other educational opportunities as well.