The Bacon Station - HAM Tutorials, Reference, and Lessons
This page is dedicated to providing you with steps on how to get started getting your STEM club "On The Air".

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On the Air - Where to Begin

Again, these do not have to be in order, but we highly recommend that you perform the following before you bring the program to the kids:

  1. Obtain a Google Account. The Bacon Station uses Google Docs and Apps for presentations, worksheets, and documents that are absolutely free for you to use. If you would like to copy these documents and customize them to fit your needs, you will need a Google Account.
  2. Obtain the involvement of your administration. If your administration is on board with the program, and they realize that you will be bringing a great program to the students at very little to no cost, it will be great to have them as an ally in the future. Especially if you are going out to seek funding and sponsorship from the local community. Your administration can be the voice for you, if they are on board with what you are trying to accomplish. If you need a information for a quick, simple, presentation, we recommend Kids On The Air, which is the presentation that we use about three different times.
  3. Find three other individuals to help you form the club. It is a requirement by the FCC and ARRL to have at least four officers for your club. President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. In order to file for a club call sign and ARRL affiliation, you will need to have at least these four individuals. We will talk about this more in the Forming Your Club section.
  4. Find a sponsoring "Elmer" club. We would like to say, you can do this on your own with no problems, and you probably can, but if you can find an existing regional or a club that is close, we highly recommend that you do this. This club will help you learn all of the details, in depth, when it comes to having a successful program. You can search for local clubs at Search for ARRL Affiliated Clubs.
  5. Obtain at least your "Technician" license (recommended). The trustee of the club, either the faculty adviser or club president, must be a licensed Amateur Radio operator for FCC filings. If you are seeking ARRL affiliation (recommended), this person also must be a member of ARRL. If you can get all of your officers to get their license as well, it will make things easier for you in the long run, but this is not required to start your "school" club. School clubs only have to have their faculty adviser or club president be licensed operators and be members of ARRL. Other clubs need 51% of their voting members to be members of ARRL in order to have the affiliation. If you took our advice with the previous item, and found a sponsoring club, you will probably be able to work with them to get your Amateur Technician License.
  6. Have your club, School Board Approved. This will be important for many factors, but mainly you will then have an official, school sanctioned club, and can use the school's non-profit status for your club. Also, this will provide you with the financial support such as having your own banking account for financial reasons. Check with your district's treasurer for what you need for financial purposes, and probably your district's superintendent's office for requirements of the creation and approval of the club. In most cases you will have to have the same constitution and by-laws that are needed for your FCC and ARRL filings.
  7. Announce the club to students and parents. This can be done through take home flyers or by scheduling a public presentation to go over what the club is about and what you will be doing. Either way, you need to announce the club so that you get members. What is the point of having the club if you don't have members? We recommend having a public presentation during open house or parent teacher conferences and allow parents and students to come and see the Kids On The Air presentation. At the end of the presentation, announce the first club meeting date and/or have a sign-up sheet of those who would like to be members. If your school has other means of making announcements, do whatever you can to get the word out.
  8. Try to get a web address for your club. You do not need to have the full website in place, in fact we don't recommend that at this point; however, if you can obtain the website address now, you can use that on your club applications and won't have to send in updates later on. If you cannot get this now, that is fine. You can just update your listings later. One thing that you may want to consider, is wait until you get your "vanity" call sign before you register your domain. That way you can try to get [callsign].org or [callsign].com
  9. Try to get an e-mail address for your club. Similar to trying to obtain a web address, you are going to want to establish an e-mail address that is specifically for the club. This will be needed later for many things, including filing for the club call sign with the FCC. Consider also having an e-mail later on that would match your call sign.

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HAM Tutorials, Reference, and Lessons
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