• Bellefonte Science Night to feature amateur radio operators for equipment showcase, discuss district space program

    By Brit Milazzo
    bmilazzo@basd.net
    Public relations, BASD

    The Bellefonte Area School District is holding its annual Bellefonte Science Night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Bellefonte Area High School gymnasium. Featured this year includes local amateur radio operators who will be on hand to present, demonstrate, display equipment and answer questions regarding a space program coming next year to Bellefonte Area Middle School.

    The district is working to bring real-time communication between astronauts at the International Space Station and students at the middle school. The project is part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Program, which promotes learning opportunities as part of the STEM initiative -- science, technology, engineering and math.

    Bellefonte Area Superintendent Michelle Saylor and other administrators developed an education plan that incorporates space-related topics and activities for students to engage in STEM topics throughout the 2017-18 school year. Direct contact with a space station astronaut and the students will be possible through local amateur radio operations.

    Amateur radio operator and Bellefonte Area school board member Jon Guizar, and fellow ham radio operator Ellwood Brem, a Centre County resident, helped develop an equipment plan and site survey to enhance the opportunity for a successful amateur radio contact with an astronaut as the space station orbits at nearly 18,000 mph.