The Lewis Center for Educational Research was selected as one of nine educational institutions in the United States to participate in a program allowing students to communicate with astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
The program – known as NASA Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, or ARISS – is an international organization made up mostly of volunteers that enables students to talk to space travelers using radio equipment used by the General public.
“We are delighted to be part of this year’s group of schools to receive an ARISS contact,” said Lisa Lamb, President and CEO of the Lewis Center. “From the start of the new school year, our students will participate in weekly lessons to make the most of our radio contact with the astronauts on the ISS.
Students will learn about life aboard the space station and participate in lesson plans and after-school activities “implemented to enhance the educational experience,” according to a school statement.
“Our students have long studied robotic and radio missions in space,” said Amy Ritter, STEM coordinator at the Lewis Center. “With ARISS, they will speak directly to our astronauts and learn to live in the space they have studied. It’s such a powerful way to connect them to future Artemis missions.
Artemis is a NASA program that intends to send the first woman and person of color to the moon with an added goal of establishing a sustainable community there.
The Lewis Center has a long-standing partnership with NASA and its Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and operates the Goldstone-Apple Valley radio telescope, or GAVRT, a donation from the space agency.
Earlier this year, the students applauded inside the “Mission Control” as the Rover Perseverance landed on Mars in February.
Lewis Center officials said students are already “looking forward to” the next ARISS communication.
“I am very excited to be able to speak to astronauts living on the Space Station,” student Natalie Ritter said in a statement.
The planning will take place after Lewis Center officials submit an equipment plan that demonstrates the educational institution’s “ability to perform amateur radio contact,” according to ARISS.
In addition to the Apple Valley Academy for Academic Excellence, the Lewis Center also operates the Norton Science & Language Academy in San Bernardino.
Daily Press reporter Martin Estacio can be reached at 760-955-5358 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DP_mestacio.