Oakwood ARISS Contact

Oakwood School was thrilled to be chosen for our students to talk with Astronaut Dr. Shannon Walker on the International Space Station via Amateur Radio on March 22nd. This activity was part of the ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) Program, which promotes learning opportunities as part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Math) initiative.

As a school that unleashes possibilities through an emphasis on exploration and allows students to investigate their potential in a supportive environment, a Year in Space curriculum was developed to support the already extensive STEM offerings for preschool through 12th-grade students. The wide variety of activities relating to space created in preparation for the event included space books read during library time, science classes building Lunar Landers, and the High School Astronomy Club helping younger students witness the transit of Mercury in front of the Sun using a solar telescope. The school installed a unidirectional antenna on the Oakwood School Barn, and students gained experience operating Amateur Radio equipment. Oakwood’s robotics teams built models of lunar bases and considered what is necessary to live in space for an extended time.

Lessons from our Year in Space curriculum provided a background for Oakwood students to delve deeper into their education and think critically as they formulated questions for the astronauts based on their research and curiosity. Students in a fifth-grade protected cohort asked the questions which were solicited from the entire student body, and the assembly was relayed via videoconferencing to both on-campus and remote students and their families.

The contact took place via telebridge. The amateur radio station IK1SLD, located in Northwestern Italy, relayed radio communications from the International Space Station (ISS) to Oakwood School over telephone lines.


Click the play button below to watch the recorded live stream of the event.