March 26, 2009



International Space Station ARISS school contacts have been planned with participants at Parkside Community College, Parkside, Cambridge, UK and The Girl's Middle School, Mountain View, CA on 30 March. The events are scheduled to begin at approximately 1700 UTC and 18.22 UTC respectively. Space Flight Participant Charles Simonyi KE7KDP/HA5SIK will answer students' questions.

The first contact will be a direct between OR4ISS and GB4FUN, the second is a telebridge between stations NA1SS and K6DUE. The contacts should be audible over
Europe and then Eastern N. America. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.800 MHz downlink. Audio from the telebridge contact should also be available via the AMSAT conference on EchoLink and via the 9010 Discovery reflector on IRLP. The participants are expected to conduct the conversation in English.

SPARKS Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Club has a core aim of enthusing young people about  physical sciences.  The club is open to students in years 7 to 9. (11-14 years old).  All students across both secondary schools, and other younger children in our local primary schools and cub scout groups have been invited to apply to ask questions to Charles Simonyi.  This has been particularly strongly promoted in science lessons to all year 7 and 8 students (480) and also to year 9 and 10 (480). Ten local primary schools have been invited to take part.  Part of the application process involved research into both the ISS and into Charles Simonyi.  This competition process has led to students asking each other and researching the answers to difficult questions about space and the Earth.  This work extends and enriches the taught curriculum.  We have also made links with cub scout groups who have been looking at astronomy and encouraged them to enter.  Within the schools we see this very much as promoting science as something that is cool and exciting and are linking this with our earlier Teddies in Space project which was very successful in getting students across the schools (and nationally) interested in the science of space exploration.

Participants from Parkside will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:
1. What would a teddy astronaut find the most frightening part of a space mission?
2. What experiments could a bear do on the ISS?
3. Do the patterns of the stars look different from the ISS?
4. If a child was on the ISS would they grow normally?
5. Does the excitement and experience of space flight make your whole body feel different?
6. What would you choose to do on your next mission?
7. Would a bear feel lonely on the ISS?
8. What is the most impressive piece of equipment on the ISS?
9. Can you take a photo of
Cambridge and send it to us, please?
10. How do you know which way is down?
11. What skills would a bear need to become an astronaut?
12. What does a shooting star look like up close?
13. What are the other astronauts doing right now?
14. Can you drink water on the ISS?
15. Why do we need rockets to go into space - why can't we just use aeroplanes?
16. Could a bear eat marmalade sandwiches on the ISS?
17. Is it easy to sleep on the ISS?
18. At night what is the brightest part of the Earth?
19. Can I become an astronaut?

The Girls' Middle School (GMS) is a small, independent school for girls in 6th-8th grade, located in
Mountain View, California.  GMS nurtures, empowers, and educates girls during a pivotal time in their lives. Our project-based, hands-on curriculum encourages girls to collaborate, think critically, and experience the joy of learning. Through practice, girls grow to value their voices, develop empathy, and set and reach their personal goals. By offering non-traditional educational opportunities, respecting teachers' independence, and assessing students authentically, we create a community in which girls take risks, expand their horizons and realize their potential. By intentionally recruiting a diverse group of high-achieving girls, we work toward a more equitable world.

Participants from the Girl's Middle School will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:
1. What is it like living at the space station?
2. What is the best thing about being in space?
3. How is being in space different than what you expected?
4. What kinds of things do you do in space?
5. What does it feel like being weightless?
6. What is the most amusing thing to do when you are weightless?
7. Do you ever feel like a tiny particle in reference to space?
8. What is the weirdest thing you've seen or done in space?
9. Is it hard to be with the same people for so long?
10. What is it like coming back to Earth after being in space?
11. What does earth look like from space - is it surprising to see it as a whole?
12. What do you do for training to go to space?
13. What is your mission working in the space station?
14. What kinds of experiments are you performing and what have you learned?
15. How do you eat and drink in space?
16. What kinds of things do you eat while you're in space?
17. How do you take a bath or shower in space?
18. What is it like to sleep in zero gravity?
19. What made you interested in going out to space?
20. Was it your dream to go to space when you were a kid?

ARISS is an international educational outreach program partnering the participating space agencies, NASA, Russian Space Agency, ESA, CNES, JAXA, and CSA, with the AMSAT and IARU organizations from participating countries.

ARISS offers an opportunity for students to experience the excitement of Amateur Radio by talking directly with crewmembers onboard the International Space Station. Teachers, parents and communities see, first hand, how Amateur Radio and crewmembers on ISS can energize youngsters' interest in science, technology, and learning.



Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS Chairman