What is the Bacon Station?
You may have stumbled upon this website while searching for different amateur radio items on the Internet, and thought to yourself, "What is this website, and what it is all about?" or "Why does there need to be another website dedicated to the subject of amateur radio?" Well, the simple answer is this. This website is dedicated to those who wish to start an amateur radio club in a K-12 school district.
The theory and practice of amateur radio is perfect for those schools wishing to introduce S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) into the curriculum. This information has been out there and around since the early 1900's, and the principals and math behind radio frequency and electronics has been studied, applied, and practiced by amateur radio operators all over the globe.
So, why another website? The Bacon Station is here to provide help in taking those theories, lessons, and practices and interpret them for the classroom teacher. It is not simple to understand what is going on, and in fact it has taken the founding elmers of The Bacon Station an entire school year to develop this website. That's right, the information you find on this website has been tested, implemented, and practiced to help you have a smoother implementation.
We started out with a great concept. Starting a school amateur radio club. The elmers where excited to bring this information to the kids and show them just how things work and teach them what they can do with their license, but if someone tells you it is a simple process, that is not true. We made some mistakes. We had some some challenges we had to overcome, but we did it, and now we want to share that with you.
The Road Blocks
We had many weeks where we were excited about the information being taught, but the kids just didn't get it. They wanted to be there to be in a club and have fun. When it came time to start to study for the technician exam, things started to go down hill. We had to find a way to get the kids excited about getting their license. Why should they even bother and how could we get them to study on their own. After all, this was a club, and they were not getting graded. Why study?
We tried offering many different events throughout the year where they kids could come and get on the air. They had many opportunities to work the radio under the club call sign, yet only a few would show up at the events. We needed to figure out another plan and we continued our efforts even when we thought that all hope was lost.
One thing that we did notice was the kids would be excited and participate with more hands on activities. We had one club night where we did nothing but make different circuits, and the kids loved it. So, we went a step further and drew up on the board a circuit that was in series and a circuit that was in parallel, then the kids had to make the circuit. Once they did, we asked them to explain, how they could make the circuit better. Little did they know, they were learning basic electricity, and we referred back to the night several times when we were studying for the test.
During our project there were several moments that made it all worth what we were trying to accomplish. We were able to get four kids licensed, with the youngest being 11 years old. We were able to establish our school club, and we finally were able to conduct our first fox hunt. Another highlight we had was when we put up our weekly NET. Just hearing that first, newly licensed student, check-in with their callsign on the NET was kind of an emotional moment. These things make all of what you will go through, well worth it.
Putting together the Bacon Station
As we went through our project, we documented everything. What worked, what didn't work, what helped teach towards the technician exam, how to get the community involved, and how to get the kids engaged. With all of this documentation, we thought, there are probably others out there trying to go through the same thing, we should share this information. With that, the Bacon Station was born.
What is the Future for The Bacon Station
The Bacon Station is and will alway be a work in progress. As we try out and test new things, we will add them to the site. As we come up with new tips, lessons and activities, we will add those to the site as well. The next thing we are working on with the site is expansion. We want to add more utilities and reference materials that are beneficial to school related clubs. We have filed and received our own callsign for the club and are waiting on our vanity to be approved so during the summer of 2107, you should see more information about that. Once we get our vanity callsign, we want to create a FREE membership database for school clubs, elmers, and student hams. We also want to establish a Forum where information can be exchanged amongst the students and elmers as well. All great plans and good things for the future of The Bacon Station. So, stay tuned and 73.
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The Bacon Station
HAM Tutorials, Reference, and Lessons