The Fun Theory

A frequent contributor, Ralph, AA8RK, forwarded to me a link to the Fun Theory website. According to the website, “…something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.”

The website shows a couple of videos, like the one above, that are examples of how to make good things fun. The Hands-On Museum has a piano staircase, and it is fun!

That got me to thinking about how we can make amateur radio demos more fun. I haven’t come up with any great ideas yet, but if you have one, please comment here. Ham radio has to be fun, or else it’s going to fade into the woodwork.


  1. This is a great question: How can we make amateur radio demos more fun?

    The question perhaps belies the problem: it’s a demonstration and not an interactive conversation. I’m primarily a contester, so I tend to think of things like the “Eyeball Sprint” that was held at the Hamvention last year. (I think Contest Club Finland might deserve the credit for the original idea.) It’s a contest where people walk up to each other to complete the exchange in person rather than on the radio. I think this could be really interesting as a companion to a demo. Or, it might fall flat, too.

    I recently spoke to a couple of groups of 8th graders about my work studying the ionosphere and early in the discussion, I asked if any of them were familiar with shortwave radio. A few were, but the concept was foreign to most. They were very interested in satellites, rockets, and GPS, so all is not lost. But, there is a disconnect to which most of us aren’t even sensitive. We have to make connections through things that people understand (and I use this term loosely—for which they have mental models) to make the concepts accessible.

    Knowing our audience is key. Engaging through meaningful, rhetorical questions and well-placed illustrations goes a long way. Playful exploration—fun—is indeed the right idea. I look forward to more ideas…thanks for stimulating my brain this Monday morning.

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