UPDATE 9/24/12: There are now two versions of this brochure:
- The first version I wrote for my own use at WA2HOM. It has contact information for people that want to know more about our activities at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum
- The second version has space for you to put contact information for your club. Download this version if you want to pass it out at your club events.
Last week, I received an e-mail from a middle school teacher here in Ann Arbor. She had heard about SuitSat and wanted someone to come and talk to her class about it and about amateur radio in general. I did this Monday. Unfortunately, by Monday morning the signal from SuitSat was too weak for me to receive with the simple J-pole antenna I have, but I was able to show them pictures from the SuitSat website and play for them some of the recordings that hams made over the weekend.
Overall, I think that the talk was a great success, with several of the kids showing a lot of interest in amateur radio. I also got our club to agree to donate a copy of Now You’re Talking to the school, and I plan on keeping in touch with the teacher and to be available should any of them decide to go for a license.
I’ve also recently been talking to a guy in Monroe, MI, whose son just got his license and who has been trying to organize more activities for kids centering on amateur radio. Last night, we spoke on EchoLink, and he brought up the idea of a “parent’s manual.” That is, an article or brochure designed for parents of kids who might be interested in ham radio. The brochure would help give some guidance to parents whose kids are interested in the hobby, with the hope that it would help them be supportive of their kids.
Here is my first cut at an outline for such a brochure:
A Parent’s Guide to Amateur Radio
What is amateur (ham) radio?
How do you get into ham radio?
- Three different classes of licenses
- Take classes or study the book “Now You’re Talking.”
- Join a local club
How much does it cost?
What can kids do in ham radio?
- list the various activities
What do kids get out of ham radio?
- technical skills
- social skills
- public service
What do you think? I’d love to get your thoughts on this.