Dorothy Grant Elementary Amateur Radio Club, held its first ever FCC "Technician License Exam" Testing Session. With the help of David Collingham, K3LP and Paul Ewing, N6PSE, we were able to test all 48 4th and 5th graders. From those 48 students emerged 4 new Technician Class operators. They are:
Maribel Laguna, (call sign TBD), Laisha Veraara, KK6HZH, Belal Al-Sabbagh, KK6HZI, and Joel Cerda, KK6HZG. Great job you guys!!!
Everyone was excited to make their first attempt at this difficult exam. They have been working very hard to learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible. Many of the students have only been in the DGE ARC since August of this year, but that didn't seem to slow their enthusiasm for taking this exam. We wanted this day to be a celebration of learning and use amateur radio as the vehicle for that learning.
We started the morning by preparing our antennas for making contacts. While students worked at centers practicing skills like calling techniques and the phonetic alphabet, small groups of students went outside with David Collingham, K3LP to measure and cut radial wires for our antennas.
Next we made contact with Joe Rudi, a former professional baseball player who played for the Oakland Athletics as well as other major league teams. He is a 3 time All Star and Gold Glove award winner who also happens to be a ham radio operator, NK7U! Students were both surprised at the contact and amazed at how clear the connection was. 5 and 9 for sure! Mr. Rudi took time to speak with nearly all of the students. He also offered to send each student a QSL card!We couldn't have been more excited or more thankful for him taking time out of his day to meet with us on the radio. What an amazing experience for kids!
After making a few more contacts, Paul Ewing, N6PSE arrived and met with the students. Paul has been an amateur radio operator since 1982. Since 1992, he has been a serious DXer and traveled to many countries in the world. He spoke to the students about his profession in the IT business and his experiences with amateur radio and his love for the hobby. He and David then assisted students in making contacts with both of our ICOM HF radios. The students recorded QSO's with other ham radio operators in Oregon, Alberta, Canada, Colorado, New Jersey, Minnesota and Illinois.
The official school day ended at noon since we were on a minimum day schedule.. While many of the students went home, the DGES ARC students arrived. The club consists of 48 4th and 5th grade students who love making contacts on HF. They have been studying for the past several weeks in preparation for the Technician Licensing Exam Session. However, before any test taking could happen we had to eat!
Pizza was provided for all in attendance by the Dorothy Grant PTA. PTA parents stayed to help serve the pizza while the students took turns making contacts.
From 1:45 pm until 3:30 pm, we headed to the school cafeteria where the students settled in to take the FCC Amateur Radio Technician Class License exam. Of the 48 students testing, four passed the exam with another 12 who came very close to passing. In all, all the kids did well and showed improvement and knowledge in radio communications, electronics and mathematics. We are all very proud of their attempt at a very difficult exam at such a young age.
Overall, it was a very exciting and productive day. Each student received a Certificate of Participation and an ICOM sponsored gift bag. THANK YOU ICOM and thank you to David Collingham, Paul Ewing, and Joe Rudi for making this a truly memorable day for us all!!!