EVARC began working with the local high school in 2020 through a one-week School Club Roundup in the high school commons area. In 2021 we taught a one-week Technician license class for 8 post-5th graders, 2 teachers and 1 parent. In the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022, we held several mini-field-days with 6th grade middle school students. We showed them how to make proper calls using HT radios, both simplex and through a repeater. EVARC purchased several radios and a satellite tracking antenna for an ARISS project in 2021. Fifth grade students were able to talk to an astronaut on the ISS using our radio equipment. This equipment remains in the Observatory radio room for use by students and EVARC hams.
In the fall of 2022, we began a series of weekly sessions for 6-grade students on the HF radio in our club’s station. We discovered that a group of students loved to get on the radio and make contacts. Some of them had pileups and learned how to handle them. Students began asking how they could get their own license. This led to the idea of teaching another class. The middle school principal and science teacher agreed to allow several students to use amateur radio for their science elective in the spring 2023 semester. The school understood that this is part of STEM education. We had 6 students during the school day and 5 after school.