Genesee Radio Amateurs
Genesee County, NY

Pembroke High School's Radio Contact With The International Space Station

Students at the Pembroke High School was able to complete a radio contact with the International Space Station during the second week of January 2019.

Pam Ware, AB3PW, was the lead for the Genesee Radio Amateurs (GRAM). She worked in conjunction with Melissa Payne-Smith, Master Teacher at Pembroke High School and Kevin Williams of the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium at SUNY Buffalo State to prepare the students for the event.

Pam, along with Dave Carlson, N2OA, conducted preparation presentations to the students who participated in the event. The first training session, consisting of 5 of the 19 students, was conducted on Tuesday, November 13th, 2018. The ongoing training to prepare the entire group of students was completed throughout the remainder of November and the month of December, 2018.

Many thanks go to GRAM members and everyone who was involved with the successful completion of this event. For more information contact Pam at Pictures from this event will be posted at a later date.


Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) inspires students, worldwide, to pursue interests and  careers in science, technology, engineering and math through amateur radio communications opportunities with the International Space Station (ISS) on-orbit crew.  Students learn about life on board the ISS and explore Earth from space through science and math activities. ARISS provides opportunities for the school community (students, teachers, families and community members) to become more aware of the substantial benefits of human spaceflight and the exploration and discovery that occur on spaceflight journeys. Students have the opportunity to learn about space technologies and the technologies involved with space communications through exploration of amateur radio.

Amateur Radio organizations, and space agencies in the USA, Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe sponsor this educational opportunity by providing the equipment and operational support to enable direct communication between crew on the ISS and students around the world via Amateur Radio. Hundreds of Amateur Radio operators around the world work behind the scenes to make these educational experiences possible. Amateur Radio is a popular hobby and a service in which licensed participants operate communications equipment with a deep appreciation of the radio art.

ARISS was created and is managed by an international working group, including several countries in Europe as well as Japan, Russia, Canada, and the USA. The organization is run by volunteers from the national amateur radio organizations and the international AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) organizations from each country. Since ARISS is international in scope, the team coordinates locally with their respective space agency  and as an international team through ARISS working group meetings, teleconferences and webinars.

Goals of the ARISS Program

  • Inspire an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects and in STEM careers among young people;
  • Provide an educational opportunity for students, teachers and the general public to learn about space exploration, space technologies and satellite communications;
  • Provide an educational opportunity for students, teachers and the general public to learn about wireless technology and radio science through Amateur Radio
  • Provide an opportunity for Amateur Radio experimentation and evaluation of new technologies.
  • Provide a contingency communications system for NASA and the ISS crew.
  • Provide crew with another means to directly interact with a larger community outside the ISS, including friends and family.

Official ARISS Website...