Mentors Task Description

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Release 31.01.2017
Previous Update 07.06.2017
Last update 16.05.2020

The ARISS-Europe School Contact Procedure, available on the ARISS-Europe website at:
states that:

Interested schools submit an Application includes Authorization and use of personal information, in accoriding to the GDPR and to national laws on the detention and the processing of personal information, and present a STEAM oriented educational project (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).

In the European Region (Europe, Africa and Middle-East), Schools and Youth organizations, interested in setting up an ARISS radio contact with an astronaut onboard the International Space Station, are invited to submit their requests from September to October and from February to March.

An “ARISS Mentor” will be assigned to each school to assist and help them during the entire process up to radio contact. The "ARISS Mentor", in November and in April, checks the applications, the technical feasibility and how the school can fulfill the requested STEAM oriented educational activities, adapted to age and level of the participating students. Collaboration with a teacher favors the selection process. The waiting list for the ARISS-Europe Region is updated in June and in January.

The ARISS Mentor is the main actor is the school contact procedure all along the process:

  • From the Application till the Selection Period.
  • During the Selection Period.
  • From the Selection till the Contact Period.
  • After the contact.

1. From the  Application till the Selection Period

  • During the Verification window (April or November), the Mentor contacts the candidate school and checks how the school can fulfill the educational requirements:
    • He tries and teams up with the teacher in charge of the ARISS contact and discusses the STEAM oriented educational activities.
    • He informs the teacher about ESA supplies, when available.
  • The Mentor examines and verifies the technical aspects of the ARISS contact:
    • He contacts the local amateur radio operator who will provide the equipment and checks if a direct contact is feasible.
    • When a telebridge is needed, the teleconference phone installation must be operated by a licensed radio amateur or by qualified technicians.
  • The Mentor writes a brief report on the status of the candidate school (educational activities, technical aspects):
    • The report is circulated to the EuroSchools working group:
    • The report is archived by the ARISS-Europe School Selection Manager.
  • The Mentor invites the school to document, as a diary, the daily or weekly work in progress relative to the educational project, using the most recent technologies such as social networks, clouds, websites, blogs, etc. The publishing of messages, photos, short video clips, etc. will be taken into account during the selection process.
  • Prior to the Selection Period, the Mentor addresses a report to the EuroSchools working group about the school’s educational merits and preparedness, referring to published ARISS school activities, if available.

2. During the Selection Period

  • During the Selection Period, which comprises a series of teleconferences, the Mentor presents the school’s status to the EuroSchools working group and contributes to select the schools to be put on the European waiting list.
  • In addition to the STEAM oriented educational activities, some other selection criteria can be taken into account. Their relative importance is weighted in the hereto appended table School Selection Criteria.

3. From the Selection till the Contact Period

  • The selected schools are now deploying ARISS related activities, possibly documenting them on the school website or on social networks. The Mentor stays informed of these activities.
  • If the school fails to prepare for the ARISS event, the Mentor shall inform the ARISS-Europe School Selection Manager. The school can possibly be removed from the waiting list.
  • The mentor collects 20 questions and the school presentation, double checks and amends the questions if needed, supervises the prioritization of the contact options, collects talent authorizations, sends additional information such as ISS video links, etc.

4. After the contact

  • The school is requested to complete the Activity Report available at:

The Mentor shall help the school and verify that this important document be completed and forwarded immediately after the contact.

Remark - The Mentor’s tasks are simplified in the following cases:

  • ESA events, as per ESA-ARISS Europe agreement
  • Special events requested by governments or by international institutions
  • etc.

School Selection Criteria

School is running Space oriented program with (science) teacher support high
School is selected by astronaut high
School’s country/region never or rarely selected high
School is running ham licensing program medium
School is running sessions with volunteering radio amateur medium
School accepts to share contact with other school medium
School has active amateur radio club low
School has special anniversary/event low

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