Howell L. Watkins MS Students Make Contact with Space Station

October 2016

Howell L. Watkins Middle School students made contact with the International Space Station (ISS) and asked questions of an astronaut on board this Monday afternoon.

space-station.jpgHowell L. Watkins Middle School students made contact with the International Space Station (ISS) and asked questions of an astronaut on board this Monday afternoon.

H.L. Watkins Middle School is one of only 17 schools nationwide that were accepted by ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station), an organization that helps provide groups across the United States with opportunities to talk to astronauts. The school used a writing challenge to select the 12 students and five staff members who will talk to the station crew. H.L. Watkins is the first public school in Palm Beach County to host an ARISS contact.

The school partnered with the Jupiter Lighthouse Radio Group (JLRG) and the South Florida Science Center, who held their own ARISS contact in October of 2012. The teams came together, onsite at Watkins Middle School to setup an operating station and the antennas necessary to make a radio contact with the ISS orbiting some 200 miles above the Earth.

The proposal was submitted by Mrs. Karen Anderson, a teacher at the school, an amateur radio operator, and a member of JLRG. Mrs. Anderson is coordinating and managing the project as well.

About Howell L. Watkins Middle School: H.L. Watkins Middle School has a student population of over 900 and is home to two magnet programs, robotics and medical, which have over 200 students combined.

About ARISS: ARISS was founded to provide amateur radio equipment on the International Space Station for educational purposes. ARISS, in cooperation with agencies in other countries, has helped provide opportunities for schools and organizations around the world with opportunities to connect with the space station since December 2000. It celebrated its 1,000th contact last month.The Science Center hosts a permanent amateur radio exhibit that first opened in 2010 where kids and school groups can learn about the hobby and talk to people using the radios in the exhibit.

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