Thursday, November 3, 2005

Ham radio for home-schoolers

Phil "Leonelli is a teacher at Iowa Street School, a campus that serves as a resource center for home-schooled children from kindergarten through eighth grade. It's part of the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District.

"Credentialed teachers offer academic support and provide a range of enrichment activities in music, art and science. 'I like to share my interests with my students,' said Leonelli, who also teaches music.

"His enthusiasm for amateur radio has rubbed off on his students. A number of them have earned their first license, called a technician's license, from the Federal Communications Commission.

"Zachary Robinson, 12, is among them. To get his license, he prepared for a 35-question exam. He learned about ham radio operating procedures, frequencies and antenna measurements."

"Two years ago, the American Radio Relay League awarded $3,000 worth of amateur radio equipment to set up a station at the school and recognized the campus as a pilot school for its Radio Education and Technology program.

"Members of the Fallbrook Amateur Radio Club have stepped forward to nurture the youngsters' interest. Leonelli said the group has donated radio sets and other equipment. They also proctor radio licensing tests.

"The Iowa Street students have started their own amateur radio net, inspired by Fallbrook Amateur Radio Club's net that has served as a critical communication link during floods and fires. The students talk to each other on their ham radios at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday and make sure their equipment is in good working condition.

"The students also take part in an annual field day, a 24-hour emergency preparedness event sponsored by the American Radio Relay League.

"They learn skills that go beyond making contact with other ham radio operators, Leonelli said." ...

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