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Putting on a Ham demo at a School Science Fair

Jan 28th 2018, 11:06


Joined: May 6th 2017, 19:13
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Hi--thought I would try in this forum. I am recently licensed in southern BC in the Rockies and a little appalled at the state of decay of the hobby and of the Emergency preparedness in this area. Accordingly we are attempting two things--a public demo at the area school science fair in a couple of months (I believe we have maybe one school age Ham in this entire area)
Applications for grants to upgrade all our equipment for disaster assistance.
So I thought I would see if your experience as teachers and Hams would result in suggestions as to how best to have a booth operating all day to show what we are still capable of--we have some local repeaters and many members with VHF sets and many with HF that we could setup but we need suggestions as to how to run it all day and how to involve the public (Kids--parents) to get some newcomers into this field?? What kind of things would we demonstrate. Communications have not been the greatest from here for a while but shovel we focus on SSB ? or focus on newer digital methods, we will have some CW going. All ideas welcome. Happy to give private email if needed but you can check it through QRZ JD VE7QJD
Jan 30th 2018, 11:19


Joined: Sep 2nd 2003, 12:14
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Your biggest challenge will be to grab people's attention so that they don't just walk past your table without stopping. I've tried many approaches over the years, and have found that nothing beats playing Morse code through a speaker to raise people's curiosity. I always have a paddle set up so I can invite kids to try sending their names in Morse. In recent years, I've added an Arduino-based CW decoder so they can actually see what they are sending.

That's the hook. Once I have them at my table, I give them my 60-second spiel on how amateur radio allows us to communicate around the world without internet, cell phones, etc. Showing some of the more colorful QSL cards I've received from around the world usually makes an impact. The ARRL has a great "22 Things You Can do With Amateur Radio" youth brochure that I make sure they leave with.

Mark AI4BJ

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