18/19 get Tech tickets at yesterday’s class

Yesterday, I taught another of my one-day Tech classes at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, and I’m happy to report that 18 out of 19 passed the test. And, the one that did fail missed it by only one question.

One thing that I was really glad to see was the diversity of the group. Four of the students were women, and five of the students were teenagers! There were also a couple of 20-somethings in the group.

Three of the teenagers were part of the “Prestin Gang.” The Prestin Gang included twin brothers Bill and Ed, and three of their sons: Danny, Gilbert, and Matthew. Sounds to me as though they’re going to have a lot of fun as a family with the hobby.

At lunch, Ed Prestin told me that he’d been licensed before, and that he still had the Heathkit HW-5400 (!) that he built back in the 1980s. I hope the rig is still working. Some parts are no longer available.

My one innovation this time was to draw the figures on big sheets of paper and then tape them to the wall before the class. This worked out pretty well. The students didn’t have to make sense of my hastily-drawn figures on the white board.

Overall, this session  was an unqualified success. And a lot of fun, to boot.


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  1. Larry Wheeler says:

    I am sadden to see amateur radio go in this direction. I am a professional teacher in the field of electronics and a consulting engineer. The level of knowledge that I witness among amateur radio operators is much lower than it was before the memorization type of tests were created. One FCC veteran calls them “drive by testing”. I spend 28 hours of class instruction with my students. When they finish, they are not an embarrassment to amateur radio.

    • Dan KB6NU says:

      Nor are my students, Larry. Many have gone on to get their General Class and Extra Class licenses, and many are active with the local CERT and SkyWarn groups. I’m proud of that. I stress that getting a Tech license is just the start of a learning process that will last the rest of their lives, and I’m happy to help them in any way that I can. So, while I can’t speak for others that hold one-day classes, I’m certainly happy to say that I’m not embarrassed at all about my students.

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