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R. Tait McKenzie Public School

Shortwave Listening and Amateur Radio Club: 2002-2003

This year there were 25 students in the Shortwave Listening and Amateur Radio Club from grades 4 to 6. They met after school in room 22 each week from 3:30 to about 4:45 p.m. as a Wednesday group, and then a different Thursday group. With the twist of a dial or the push of a button, the students traveled each week by shortwave across time zones and continents to hear the voices and music of the world. They also spoke by amateur radio with contacts in the region on VHF and UHF. Thanks to the Internet Radio Linking Project, a Canadian invention, they made contact as well with radio amateurs and other students across Canada and around the hemisphere.

Grade 5/6 classroom teacher Neil Carleton, VE3NCE, celebrated his tenth year of teaching in 2002/2003, and his tenth year of using radio in the classroom. Radio Netherlands published a story on its web site earlier this year, "10 Years of Radio in the Classroom", about Mr. Carleton's experience of using shortwave listening and amateur radio in the classroom. You can read the story at Radio Netherlands

Mr. Carleton became radio amateur VE3NCE to support his school's successful amateur radio contact in November 2001 with the Commander of the International Space Station as the crew passed high overhead in orbit. At the invitation of Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau, President of the Canadian Space Agency, the transcript of the contact along with student essays, about their experience of talking by amateur radio with an astronaut in space, are posted on the web site of the Canadian Space Agency at: KidSpace Website

"I use amateur radio and shortwave listening each year in my classroom and after school in a weekly club. Radio, like science, has always played an important role in my classroom. I support amateur radio in the classroom as an innovative way of learning, and a good way to make connections across the curriculum." Neil Carleton, VE3NCE

Highlights of the Club activities this year included the first school to school amateur radio contact at R. Tait McKenzie with students at Mavisville Preparatory School in Kingston, Jamaica. The Club members also made their first club to club amateur radio contact with the students of St. Antonius School Radio Club in Cincinnati, Ohio. A report of the Club's many activities during the 2002-2003 school year is available by e-mail on request by contacting .


Wednesday Group: Only a few members of the Wednesday group were on hand for a photo at lunch recess. The Almonte Radio Repeater League generously provided equipment, advice, encouragement and on air experience for the Club members.Thursday Group: On display with some members of the Thursday group are the VHF and UHF amateur radio stations in room 22, along with a few of the donated shortwave receivers the students used to travel the world.