Youth Education Program – Central Middle School

15 Nov

In September, the Youth Education Program started its 6th Annual Amateur Radio classes at Central Middle School in Victoria. Terrance Berscheid VE7TBC is the YEP Chair and WARA representative.

November 18, 2007 – Terrance Berscheid VE7TBC Reports…

  • This is our 6th year of operation at Central Middle School (CMS)! We hold two courses each year, a 10-week session in the fall (which this year ends on the 12 of December); and the spring session (which will begin on the 16th of January and continue until the 5th March, 2008). This session we have 10 students. Just think, some of our earliest students will be graduating from High School this year!
  • We are teaching the students basic electronics, including circuits, current, voltage, resistors and capacitors. They have demonstrated a pretty-solid understanding of those basics now, six weeks into the current 10-week session.
  • They are also learning Morse Code. Right now, they know about 12 letters sent at a speed of 15wpm; and on their own, they started a competition amongst themselves, trying to beat each other in figuring out the words (4-5 characters) sent to them via Kathy or my keying. This week, we are going to start simple sentences.
  • They also have developed a proficiency in 2-m voice procedures.
  • Two VHF mobile radios were issued to me by Norm Ellison, VE7FEQ, for use in Youth Education, and I purchased some booster batteries, which we connect to AC for power. One discone VHF antenna was donated by Rick Williams VE7TK; and I am using one of my 2-m antennas, built specifically for portability by Darrell Cardinell VE7IMS, and donated to me for youth education use.
  • We now have the two donated HF antennas, one donated by Rick Williams, and the second by Henk Van Dalen, now VA5HR, installed and connected to the coax. "Thanks to Al Muir for the donation of sufficient coax cable."
  • I will be using one of my HF radios and a manual tuner (this is good, because it will be an opportunity to teach them about SWR and wave propagation, and proper tuning techniques). We are hoping that we will be the recipients of am HF transceiver from an estate sale – the catch right now is that the estate is requesting a tax receipt, and rather than use the Central Middle School tax receipt option – which would mean that CMS would own the transceiver, we are hoping that WARA will soon be able to issue that tax receipt. Then the radio would be available to other school/education programs.
  • I am in the process of working on the incorporation of a Youth Amateur Radio Club – which I hope will be very closely affiliated with WARA. Chris Munz-Michielin, VE7ALB, has agreed to be the President of the club. I am the sponsor of the club callsign VE7YVI (Youth Vancouver Island). We are using that callsign in the CMS (“VE7YVI, Central Middle School, Victoria”) program. My hope is that other schools on Vancouver Island will affiliate with the club, in which case a Duncan school would use the callsign VE7YVI, Duncan…) Our intention is to try to get an island-wide (or long) affiliation organization for young amateurs (Youth now is generally defined as being between 13-25).

WARA has recently confirmed a $300 interim budget allocated to Youth Educations. As to what we will do with the $300, I am not sure at this point. I will be asking Chris to help us work out a budget. We will also work on a future ‘wish list’. Don’t worry, we will use that budget!

Kathie VA7KTH is preparing a descriptive paper on just how the CMS program does more than just introduce the students to Amateur Radio; there have been tremendous socialization and behavioral benefits from this program. Nick VA7NAF is preparing a report, from his point of view, for the QuarterWave.

My very deep Thank You, WARA, for the support and sponsorship. That support has given us a strong dose of enthusiasm. We will carry the WARA sponsorship proudly, and responsibly.