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ARRL Teachers Institute Grad Prepares Students for Ham Radio Contact with Astronaut


 ARRL celebrates the success of an ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology graduate. The skills learned in the Teachers Institute (TI) have led to a school having an amazing opportunity using amateur radio.

On Monday, December 11, 2023, students at Harbor Creek Senior High School in Harborcreek, Pennsylvania, will host an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact. Assistant Principal Drew Mortensen, AC3DS, completed the ARRL TI-1: Introduction to Wireless Technology program. Mortensen; Allen Lombardozzi, KC3TGY, and Elaine LaFuria, KC3SFY, have led the development of a robust amateur radio program at the school.

After attending the ARRL Teachers Institute, their students prepared and launched their own high-altitude balloon, capturing the interest and passion of other students, teachers, and the community.

Fifteen Harbor Creek students participating in the ARISS contact are licensed amateur radio operators. Since applying for the contact in November 2022, Harbor Creek has seen 16 students earn their amateur radio licenses, with three going on to earn their General-class licenses and three more going on to earn their Amateur Extra-class licenses. Mortensen expressed gratitude for the ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program, which reimburses the $35 amateur radio licensing fee to those younger than 18, for helping to lower the barrier of entry for students.

Students at the Harbor Creek School District Advanced Technologies Group, KC3SGV, meet regularly and fill the meeting space to maximum capacity. The students of the group will livestream the event on their YouTube channel at This livestream will be run and managed by students.

ARRL Education and Learning Manager Steve Goodgame, K5ATA, is excited about the school's success, stating, "The program at Harbor Creek Senior High School is a shining example of the impact the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology can have on students."

If you are interested in supporting STEM education through the Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology, visit



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