Young radio amateurs attending the Youth Forum at Dayton Hamvention® on May 16 will have a chance to meet NASA astronaut and ham Mike Fincke, KE5AIT — one of the more “radio-active” International Space Station crew members. The Saturday morning Youth Forum, organized by Carole Perry, WB2MGP, will include a variety of presentations from eight young hams, whom Perry called “role models for other radio amateurs and prospective young hams — each sharing inspiring stories, having fun, and being creative in ham radio activities.” One of the door prizes for young hams attending the forum will be a drawing for an ARRL-hosted luncheon with Astronaut Mike Fincke, KE5AIT. Fincke operated the Amateur Radio equipment on the International Space Station while he was part of the Expedition 9 and 18 crews.
“Eight lucky students in elementary school, high school, or enrolled as a college undergraduate may participate in the drawing for lunch with the astronaut,” said ARRL Educational Services Manager Debra Johnson, K1DMJ. “These students must already have their Amateur Radio license, too. What better way to inspire our youth to pursue more education and career paths in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math than by engaging with an astronaut-ham!”
Fincke will talk with the students about his career, space travel, and research on the ISS. The luncheon will immediately follow the Youth Forum Saturday morning. Youth Forum presenters will include:
- Tyler Hammond, KD8UAY, of Dresden, Ohio (age 13): “Contesting for Elementary Students”
- Abbigail Wilson, KF5BEW (age 18), and Kendra Wilson, KF5FYS (age 16), of Lafayette, Louisiana: “Youth and the Future of Ham Radio”
- Sam Case, KG7HBY (age 11), of Sparks, Nevada: “The Friday Night QSO Party”
- Jesse Shulins, KB1YNK (age 17), of Andover, Massachusetts: “Pneumatic Mast Systems for the Radio Amateur”
- Faith Hannah Lea, WA4BBC (age 10), and Zechariah Lea, WX4TVJ (age 12), of Chesapeake, Virginia: “Experiences in Antenna Selection, Construction, and Use for VHF Applications”
- Cameron Thurston, N8CAM (age 16), of Saint Helen, Michigan: “Contesting with N3FJP Software”
Perry has moderated the Youth Forum and instructor’s workshops at Hamvention® for many years. She is a popular keynote speaker and seminar leader at numerous teacher and radio conventions across the country. Perry taught school in Staten Island, New York, from 1981 until her retirement in 2004, and created a curriculum to introduce Amateur Radio into the classroom. Her contributions to Amateur Radio have benefited hundreds of schools and thousands of students over the years.