Community & Business

8 November, 2022

Students travel the world through radio

LIKE something right out of a movie, 13 local students camped out in their school library over a weekend recently to talk to other kids across the world through their radio.

By Ellie Fink

Cassia Sampson, Nelly Bailey, Blaize Fleming and Ben Du-Plessis at their amateur radio station VK4KSS opening day.
Cassia Sampson, Nelly Bailey, Blaize Fleming and Ben Du-Plessis at their amateur radio station VK4KSS opening day.

Kairi State School launched their amateur radio club, station VK4KSS, at the beginning of the year for their highest academic achievers and helped them obtain their licenses to communicate with other amateur radio stations.

The students then competed in the international CQ Worldwide DX contest and spoke to other students across the world.

Within 24 hours, the students contacted other amateur radio clubs from Alaska, Hawaii, USA, Jamaica, French Guiana, Madeira Island, Mozambique, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Czech, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Oman, Arab Emirates, India, West Malaysia, Indonesia, Mongolia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, Ogasawara Island, Mariana Island and New Caledonia.

Station VK4KSS, mentored by the Tablelands Radio and Electronic Club (TREC), showcased their skills to parents and friends at an opening ceremony before the competition.

Enrichment teacher Jean McMaster was pleased with the outcome of the weekend and the achievements of her students.

“It was fantastic, all the kids had a ball staying in the school library over night talking to students all over the world,” she said.

“This is high level physics they are performing and it is a great way for them to get involved with STEM and learning about geography, cyber safety and cyber etiquette.”

The school also recently won the Encouragement Award in the Queensland State Finals of the Resilient Australia Awards, which celebrated and promoted initiatives that build whole of community resilience to disasters and emergencies around Australia.

Students with their amateur radio licences will continue to utilise their equipment through workshops and activities for the rest of the school year and hope to speak with more people from across the world.

“A huge thank you to Sarah Dean, Senior Advisor Emergency Management, TRC, for initiating the project and pro-viding ongoing support and Stuart Dunk, president of TREC, for his enthusiasm and guidance throughout the year,” Ms McMaster said.

“Thank you both for your commitment as the project would not have happened without it.

“We would like to acknowledge the TRC funding bodies - Queensland Resilience and Risk Reduction Fund (QRRRF) and Get Ready Queensland, which have both provided financial support to this project and without their money, this initiative would not have been possible.”


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