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WVU Amateur Radio Club's STEM On the Air

WVU Amateur Radio Club's STEM On the Air

Background Information

Throughout history, engineers have continually developed new ways to send and receive information over long distances.  From means as simple as the old dots and dashes of Morse Code, to as complex as the Internet or cellphones, there are so many ways to have instant communication with friends and family who are hundreds or even thousands of miles away! 

With students across the country switching to various means of away-from-school learning, these ways of communicating have become even more important!  Whether you’re doing experiments you’ve read about online or having video conferences with your teachers to learn about new topics, chances are you’re using these technologies in new and exciting ways—and the WVU Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources wants you to show us how!

What is Amateur Radio?

On e o f the ways that individuals can communicate over long distances is a hobby known as Amateur Radio.  People in this hobby are often referred to as “HAM Radio Operators,” or simply just “HAMs.”  HAMs use very powerful two-way radios to talk to each other all around the world—without needing the Internet or cell service!  Think of it as a radio station that you listen to in your car, but you can talk back to the person on the other end.  Or, like walkie-talkies that can talk to people not just around the corner, but in entirely different countries!

Along with talking around the world, HAMs can send pictures too!  We call this ‘Slow-Scan Television,’ or SSTV for short.  You’ll often see pictures of scenic locations in other countries, pictures of the types of antennas people are using, or even their pets.

How can you be involved?

The WVU Amateur Radio club h as all the necessary equipment to send and receive SSTV images, and we want to help get students around the state involved—you don’t even need to leave your house.  We want to see how you’re using communication technologies of all kinds to continue learning about STEM topics through distance learning.  So how can you be involved?

1. Draw a picture (on paper or on your computer!) of how you’re learning about STEM topics!  Whether you’re doing science experiments at home, talking with classmates through your computer, or anything else!

2. Ask your parents to help you send the picture to the WVU Amateur Radio Club’s email (

3. We’ll use our radio equipment to send it all around the world to show others how you’re using distance learning techniques to further your STEM knowledge

4.  BONUS: If we get confirmation that someone elsewhere in the world received the image, we’ll let you know who and where (and how far it went)!


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!  Send an inquiry to or the Statler College Outreach Office at,and we’ll be happy to get back to you with any information you need! 


SSTV images can be received by anyone, anywhere in the world with the proper equipment to decode it.  If you are not comfortable having your student’s name on said image, let the club know and we will not include it.  If you do, it is our recommendation that you include the student’s first name only and the school they attend.

STEM On the Air Virtual Outreach Opportunity. All information is in above text.