BCS communicates with Space Station

BCS communicates with Space Station
Posted on 04/22/2022
BCS students ask questions to astronaut Kayla Barron.

The voices of nine Bellefontaine City Schools’ students were heard around the world and beyond Thursday afternoon.

8th-graders Elliett Lang and Mason Swisher; 5th-graders Corbin Stachler, Kodi Palmer, Kyle Stewart, and Erys Predmore; 2nd-graders Tanner Denbow and Joselyn Cook; and 1st-grader Maddix Burton spoke with astronaut Kayla Barron on the International Space Station (ISS) by amateur radio.

The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity lasted 10 minutes in the BHS Auditorium from 1:10 p.m. to 1:20 p.m.

Each student had two prepared questions for Barron as the ISS passed overhead.

The students asked about several topics, including getting acclimated to space, the location of the space station (250 miles above Earth), exercise equipment on the space station, and medical care on the space station.

Barron reported the space station orbits the Earth 16 times per day.

The space station traveled 3,000 miles during the brief contact with BCS.

The direct radio link was between the Bellefontaine High School Amateur Radio Club (W8BCS) and Barron (KI5LAL).

Members of the Champaign Logan Amateur Radio Club (W8FTV) provided equipment and worked with students to set up the antennas and radios to make the contact possible.

The radio contact was streamed live into each Bellefontaine City Schools’ classroom.

You can see the event at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t5ZQOw2j68

(The radio contact with Barron takes place at the 22:10 mark.)

Several community leaders attended the event in the auditorium.

The contact was part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. Bellefontaine is one of 9 groups in the United States to talk to ISS astronauts using amateur radio through the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program this spring.

ARISS inspires students, worldwide, to pursue interests and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math through amateur radio communications opportunities with the International Space Station (ISS) on-orbit crew. ARISS provides opportunities for the school community to become more aware of the substantial benefits of human spaceflight and the exploration and discovery that occur on spaceflight journeys.

For more information about the ARISS program, visit www.ariss.org

For more details on the BHS Amateur Radio Club, go to https://www.w8bcs.org/

You can see more about Barron at https://www.nasa.gov/astronauts/biographies/barron-kayla

Following the contact, Champaign Logan Amateur Radio Club (W8FTV) President Gary Kauffman spoke about the event. He was overcome with emotion and thanked several longtime club members for their expertise. The members helped set up the radio equipment at BHS earlier this month.

Bellefontaine City Schools Gifted Coordinator Angie Horvath reflected on the event. “It plants a seed in students. That’s what education is all about. It’s creating experiences for students so they can find their path in life.”  

BCS students also had the opportunity to participate in space-themed lessons and create art in their classrooms the last few months.

Photos: BCS students ask questions to astronaut Kayla Barron on the International Space Station. Simon Kauffman (orange shirt) assists them.

A group picture of the nine students who spoke to Barron.

Champaign Logan Amateur Radio Club (W8FTV) President Gary Kauffman speaks.

BCS students ask questions to astronaut Kayla Barron.

BCS students ask questions to astronaut Kayla Barron.

BCS students ask questions to astronaut Kayla Barron.

BCS students ask questions to astronaut Kayla Barron.

Students who spoke to Barron.

Gary Kauffman speaks.
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