Starstruck and ARISS

Lewiston Middle School 75 Central Ave
Lewiston, ME 04240
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The Bates College Museum of Art announces  a unique opportunity for 7th-Graders at Lewiston and Auburn Middle Schools to participate in Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS), a cooperative venture among NASA and other international space agencies that coordinates scheduled radio contacts between astronauts aboard the ISS and schools.   The 10-minute live forum will bounce between LMS and AMS students and astronauts orbiting 250 miles above Earth, and will occur in association with the Museum’s exhibition, Starstruck: The Fine Art of Astrophotography.   Details about the when the radio contact will take place are under development.

“We are thrilled to be working with LMS, AMS, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), and NASA on this,” says Anthony Shostak, Curator of Education for the Museum. “The three-way partnership between amateur radio operators, local educators, and the Museum is a great example of how groups working together can accomplish their goals in spectacular ways. The program is an excellent example of how the Arts can be a vibrant, synergistic element in teaching science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).”

Teachers in the middle schools will utilize NASA’s Teaching From Space resources and the Starstruck exhibition in a variety of ways across subjects.  The ARISS radio contact is one in a series with educational activities in the U.S. and abroad to improve teaching and learning in STEM subjects. It is an integral component of Teaching From Space, a NASA Education office. The office promotes learning opportunities and builds partnerships with the education community using the unique environment of human spaceflight.

A key community partner will be the Maine chapter of ARRL who will provide equipment and expertise to make the contact possible. “In an age of cell-phones and the internet, the wonder of radio is easy to overlook,” says Bill Woodhead of Auburn, Maine’s ARRL section leader .  “But, you can’t just call an astronaut on the ISS.  You need radio.  It is a powerful tool, and I hope that this program will excite young people to get involved in amateur radio and to learn more about how radio is used in vital communications and research.”

Two local teachers, Joyce Bucciantini at Auburn Middle School, and Nancy Flick at Greene Central School, received grants from the Museum and made possible by the Maine Community Foundation to incorporate Starstruck into their teaching.  Their lessons can be found at

Check this page for updates as they become available.