ARISS Contact - Allen Park Elementary School, Lee County School District, Ft. Myers, FL, direct via WØCTL

Allen Park Elementary School, Lee County School District, Ft. Myers, FL, direct via WØCTL
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled astronaut is Serena Aunon-Chancellor KG5TMT
Contact is a go for: Mon 2018-10-08 17:05:17 UTC 59 deg

Several stations were able to receive parts of the contact:

Map of the ground track, the above mentioned SatNOGS ground stations and the contact site:

live streaming: ARISS: A Conversation with an Astronaut - YouTube

Congratulations and 73 to all!

More details about the contact from AMSAT-BB:

Click here for the details

An International Space Station school contact has been planned with participants at Allen Park Elementary School, Lee County School District, Ft. Myers, FL on 08 Oct. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 17:05 UTC. The duration of the contact is approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds. The contact will be direct between NA1SS and W0CTL. The contact should be audible over the state of Florida and adjacent areas. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz downlink. The contact is expected to be conducted in English.

Allen Park Elementary is located in the city of Fort Myers on the southwest coast of Florida. Allen Park, which opened its doors in 1958, is part of the Lee County School District which serves over 93,000 students in K-12 education. The ninth largest district in Florida and the 33rd largest in the nation, Lee County has seen unprecedented growth in the past several years. Allen Park is home to 997 of Lee County’s students. Although eighty percent of our students are considered economically disadvantaged, we are not a Title I school and therefore precluded from additional funding for technology and professional development. We serve a diverse student population with 46% White, 24% Black, 22% Hispanic, 6% Asian and 2% Mixed Race.

When approached by CenturyLink and the Fort Myers Amateur Radio Club to partner with them in this venture, the entire team felt that it was essential to include as much of the community as possible in this historic event. Therefore, a district-wide application process was utilized to select 21 students (16 finalists and 5 alternates) to participate in the ARISS contact. In addition, local businesses and organizations have rallied around this project in support of our students.

With the help and assistance from Brian Darley KM4YHZ, a Network Technician for CenturyLink who also serves as the National Coordinator for the W0CTL CenturyLink Amateur Radio Club, this project has been brought to fruition. As Program Chair for the W4LX Fort Myers Amateur Radio Club, along with the combined efforts of the members of the W4LX Club and CenturyLink, Mr. Darley reached out to the Lee County School Board to find a deserving school. In their search, they were introduced to Allen Park and a very talented teacher who herself has an interest in space.

Mrs. Courtney Black is the only Space Foundation Teacher Liaison in Southwest Florida and has attended many trainings at Space Center Houston. She was also a presenter at the first annual SPACE Conference at Kennedy Space Center. She is a fifth-grade teacher at Allen Park and it has been her dream to communicate with an astronaut via ham radio. Both Mr. Darley and Mrs. Black have been actively promoting STEM initiatives both in and outside of the classroom.

For the past year, students in Kindergarten through 5th grade have been participating in unique learning activities related to space and space exploration. From utilizing Mission X’s Train Like an Astronaut program, to participating in Field Day utilizing ham radios and even growing tomatoes that once flew on the International Space Station, students across the district have been gearing up for this very exciting event. Additionally, students involved in the STEM Club at Allen Park traveled to Kennedy Space Center for an overnight field trip where they slept under the Saturn V rocket. The field trip just happened to coincide with the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. For our students, the past year has been quite literally, “out of this world.”

Participants will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:

  1. What kinds of experiments do you do on the ISS?

  2. How do you relax on the ISS?

  3. What are some of the most common errors when working outside or inside the ISS?

  4. Did you enter the military and how many years of flying did you complete before being chosen to go to space?

  5. How often do you get to talk to your families?

  6. Who or what inspired you to be an astronaut and have a STEM based career?

  7. What qualities or characteristics do you believe are necessary to pursue a career involving space exploration?

  8. To become an astronaut, what subjects do you have to focus on the most and how long is the training?

  9. What accomplishments do you think are possible 30 years from now?

  10. How do you keep up with physical activity aboard the ISS?

  11. What career path would you recommend for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

  12. How do you think the private space industry will affect government agencies, such as NASA, as well as the field itself?

  13. How do astronauts experiencing long periods of time in space protect themselves from the dangerous electromagnetic waves that come from the sun?

  14. What is it like to dock onto the ISS?

  15. How has your perspective of the Earth changed since being in space?

  16. How would you go about harvesting crops on another planet and what are the necessities needed to complete this task?

  17. Does food taste different in space?

  18. What is the temperature in the space station and can you change it?

  19. How many people can be in the ISS at one time?

  20. What are the different jobs at a space station?

  21. How would you describe what it feels like to be floating in space?


About ARISS:

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or informal education venues. With the help of experienced amateur radio volunteers, ISS crews speak directly with large audiences in a variety of public forums. Before and during these radio contacts, students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see,, and

Thank you & 73,
David - AA4KN