he Garden School (K2GSG) and Hall of Science Amateur Radio clubs (ARC) in New York City will join forces this month to put Amateur Radio on display during the 9th annual World Maker Faire NYC at the New York Hall of Science in Corona, Queens, September 22 – 23. Last year’s World Maker Faire NYC drew some 90,000 attendees. The Garden School’s ham radio club advisor and science teacher John Hale, KD2LPM, said participating youngsters will introduce Amateur Radio and mentor attendees in constructing small, electronic “Maker Key” Morse code oscillators. The project helped Garden School win a blue ribbon at last year’s Maker Faire.
Something new this year: Visiting radio amateurs will be able to build a tape-measure Yagi for satellite or terrestrial use. In cooperation with the Hall of Science ARC, radio amateurs will attempt to make satellite contacts with the tape-measure Yagis as a demonstration, Hale said.
The Hall of Science will host a working HF radio demonstration called “When Disaster Strikes, Amateur Radio is Ready.” Radio amateurs will be on hand to operate the radios and encourage those attending the Faire to attempt to make some contacts.
Established in 2016, the Garden School ARC is an integral part of the school’s curriculum for educating students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines. The Garden School ARC students are mentored by the co-exhibiting Hall of Science Amateur Radio Club (WB2JSM/WB2ZZO). Both are ARRL-affiliated clubs.
ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, believes that Maker Faire events offer excellent opportunities to give greater exposure to Amateur Radio. “Exhibiting at a Maker Faire is a great way for radio club members to share their enthusiasm for ham radio with the public,” he said.
Inderbitzen often gives tips to ham radio groups considering a Maker Fair exhibit. “Your exhibit should represent radio communication as innovative, hands-on, and cool!” he advised. “Not everyone will want to become a ham, but have radio club, class, and licensing information on-hand for Faire attendees who seem especially interested.”
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