Icom Donation to School Amateur Radio Club

Icom Donation to School Amateur Radio Club

Icom has recently donated two IC-T3H (2m) VHF Amateur handheld radios to the Priory LSST School based in Lincoln. The donation is in appreciation of the school's contribution to an Icom sponsored transatlantic project. This project, in conjunction with Franklin Elementary school in Washington, was to produce an Amateur Radio Comic called 'The Adventures of Zack and Max - Mady Goes to England' which is based on the experiences of a American child visiting the UK.

Pupils and teachers at Franklin Elementary school had been working with Icom America and had produced two comics encouraging young people to take the hobby of Amateur Radio in the United States.

For the third in the series they were seeking a UK school with an active Amateur Radio Club.

The comic was to depict a young US Radio Amateur visiting the UK. He, or she, would make friends whilst at school in the UK and the story would focus on the goodwill and international friendship aspects of Amateur Radio.

Priory School responded to an advert placed by Icom UK who in turn put them in touch with the American School and the rest is publishing history.

The schools spent 3 months writing the story, planning out the scenes, and communicating with their counterparts across the Atlantic. All the children worked very hard putting the story together and gave up their own time to produce the comic. They posted their work to computers and passed scripts back and forth. Importantly, more than just stories were exchanged.; friendships were started.

Mr. David Mackinder G4DWP, a Technology teacher at the Priory L.S.S.T. School in Lincoln said, 'The project with Franklin Elementary School in Kirkland, Washington was a very interesting and fun exercise for the students. It was marvellous opportunity and marvelous experience for them to be part of a team working towards a common goal and to produce a professional publication that they would actually feature in as cartoon characters. This was especially so when the other half of the team was in another country half way around the world. We received a piggy bank from Kirkland, based on one of the characters in the comic. In return our pupils manufactured a clock using the school's CAD CAM facilities that was then sent to Washington State. Our students have experienced at first hand how Amateur Radio promotes international friendship. Through the story line in the comic they were also able to appreciate the latest technological possibilities that Amateur Radio has to offer. It is hoped that during the new school year (2005/2006) our radio club students will maintain regular contact with the students in Kirkland Washington using the same technology.

'David said, ' The Priory L.S.S.T. School in Lincoln has an Amateur Radio Club which was formed in December 2003. The club is very active and has a regular contacts with other school stations in the UK, Europe, USA and Canada. We have a total of fourteen students ranging in age from 12 to 17 years who have successfully passed their Amateur Radio Foundation Licence. Each student has given an hour of his or her time each week to obtain this licence.'

So what do the children from his school find attractive about Amateur Radio?

David Mackinder said, 'Some like the idea that they can talk to children of their own age from different schools in different countries through their own ingenuity.

He added, ''The children are very curious about Amateur Radio and want to know why and how everything works. The are especially interested in data communications like PSK31. They find the link with computers fascinating. Even though they may have the internet at home, what they really like is the fact that everything that they type is connected to an aerial and that it is the radio station that is doing the work. They even like the fact that when they turn the volume up, they hear the transmissions whirling.'

David Mackinder thinks it is important that children have the option of learning Amateur Radio at school.

He said, 'Amateur Radio in school is an innovative way of learning and a very good way to make learning connections across the curriculum. There are obvious benefits to promoting an interest in the study of Science and Technology and hopefully, for some, this may lead to careers in those areas. Also our overseas links have allowed our students to share their thoughts and perspectives with students of similar age at school on the other side of the world. This has been good for personal development and for the development of a sense of global responsibility.'

He went on to add, 'I took my licence when I was 17 years old along with a friend at school and we learnt a lot about radio communication. As a result, we have both gone on to have careers in engineering. Amateur Radio is just as relevant today as it has always been.'

Icom have donated two IC-T3H's to the school. David Mackinder said, 'We are planning to use the IC-T3H's to get people interested in our radio club. We are also planning a range of activities including radio foxhunting and we have already obtained a cuddly fox to affix to the transmitter.'

Thanking Icom, David Mackinder said,' We were extremely pleased to get the opportunity to take part in the project with the Washington State School and now we have something that we can build on. Thanks for that chance and thanks for donating the equipment. It will all be extremely useful '.

Ian Lockyer, Marketing Manager at Icom (UK) Ltd said, 'Icom wanted to say 'thank you' to the pupil's of Priory School for their contribution to this the third, issue of Zack & Max. These handheld radios seemed to be an entirely appropriate way of doing this.'

Marketing Department: marketing@icomuk.co.uk


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