|Call Used||Category||School/Club Name||Participants|
|KM4RE ||Elementary/Primary School||Russell Elementary Amateur Radio Club||9|
|KM4KPJ ||GA ||Christian Laster |
|Score||CW/RTTY/Dig Qs||Phone Qs||US||VE||DX||Clubs||Schools|
The School Club Roundup is an amazing program. Our school's amateur radio club is just a little over a year old. This was our third time participating in SCR.
We participated in our first roundup after having just completed assembly of our club's station three days before. As you can imagine, they did not have much of a plan and, even though they had a great time, they spent most of the week learning things as basic as how to accurately log their information and how to calculate points.
Our club students, all 4th and 5th graders, meet on Fridays and other days through the week as scheduling permits. Their activities include working satellite passes, working QRP, our own 30-minute sprint competitions between club members, experimenting with things like the impact of power levels on communication, and of course, just good ol' rag-chewing. But the highlight of the year are the two School Club Roundup events!
Our club members begin preparing for SCR as soon as the event finishes. The first club meeting after SCR is a sort of debriefing in which the students sit down with their notes and start figuring out what they did well and how they can improve on it. A couple of weeks before SCR, the students begin laying out a specific plan for the roundup week. This includes things like scheduling, operator/logger team rotations, and mapping out goals for school club contacts, QSOs, etc. They then develop a plan on how to meet those goals. Parts of that plan this year included a very effective system to garner as many school club contacts as possible and ways to use the transceiver's capabilities to maximum benefit. They also worked to make the best physical station arrangement possible and a system to complete contacts in a short time while exchanging all of the required information.
During the event, students were constantly jotting down notes with ideas about how to improve. Some of these ideas they implemented immediately and some were shelved for future discussion for possible inclusion in the next SCR.
It amazes me how quickly they develop an intuition about things like how the time of day and band affect propagation and how to use that to their advantage. You could enumerate a long list of benefits that young people gain from participating in SCR, but I think the greatest benefit may be the way that it provides a platform for them to develop and apply skills like strategy development and analysis that are necessary to cutting-edge success in any field.
As a teacher, I am grateful to the good folks who give freely of their time and resources to make sure that this experience is available for our kids. I can attest that it is producing real benefits to the our young people and to the future of amateur radio. Thank you very much!