Interest in the club at LaFayette Middle has been overwhelming, he said.
Over the summer we have had several contributors, amateur radio clubs and individuals as well, who donated gifts that have allowed this dream to become a reality, Carter said. We would not have had the means to purchase all that is required for such a hobby without their generous donations. Items donated to the club include an antenna, coaxial cable, and provisions for the radio.
Carter said the club is now equipped to offer students many links with various fields and personalities that might not be apparent to the casual observer.
We are using technology that many ships utilized in the 19th century for communication. But most people dont realize that this same technology is being used aboard the space shuttle even today, Carter said.
Todays shuttle astronauts, even the schoolteacher-turned-astronaut Barbara Morgan, carry amateur radio licenses. This ability offers the crew aboard the shuttle a means of communication if all primary ones fail.
Carter cites other personalities such as Jon Bon jovi and Walter Cronkite as being amateur radio operators. It is neat to think that our students could interact with such famous personalities, Carter said.
The clubs purpose is to expose area students to a world that many coming from a small town are never privileged. Growing up in this area, how many students really consider communications or electronics as a viable career path? Carter asked.
Carter appeals to a wide field of opportunity for those involved in his club. He cites careers in broadcast journalism, air traffic control, and computer networking as just a few of the many possibilities available to his students through this experience with communications.
The club meets on Thursdays at the middle school. Enrollment is expected to reach approximately 20 students. We want to accommodate all that are interested and hope to encourage more interest, Carter said.
Plans for club projects include interlinking the club with other amateur groups. As of now, this is one of two amateur radio clubs in the state offered by a public school. Carter hopes to see this change.
We hope to be a model that other schools will follow for establishing such a club, Carter said. If it can be done here with the help of community efforts, it can happen anywhere.
Anyone interested in further information regarding the club is encouraged to contact Jody Carter at (706) 638-6440.
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