Bloomington South Radio Club Places First in Worldwide Competition
The Bloomington South Amateur Radio Club participated in 2 amateur (ham) radio contests in late October. The South club led by faculty sponsor, Mr. Neil Rapp, learned of the preliminary first place designation in their division on November 7 for a weeklong competition involving participants from around the globe. The competition spanned Monday-Friday with the goal talking to as many people, especially at other schools, as possible in 24 hours spread over the 5 days.
The School Club Roundup competition included talking to all 50 states, 35 other countries, and 38 other schools with the BHSS club making over 700 individual contacts during the contest timeframe. The Bloomington South Radio Club provides an opportunity for student participants to learn about amateur radio operation, receive hands-on experience in the operation of amateur radios, participate in a variety of local and international competitions, and relate science and other subject areas to real life applications. During normal operations, radio amateurs can participate in a wide variety of communications methods, including shortwave, satellite, digital, and video. Some radio amateurs design and build their own equipment, while others use mass produced radios for casual conversation, contesting, and training for emergencies. The club started in 1942, and has been started and restarted several times. The current South club has been in operation for 12 years with 24 participants. A total of 98 students have participated in the past 12 years, and have earned nearly $55,000 in ham radio related scholarships. 31 partcipants have earned their own personal amateur radio license by passing a Federal Communications Commission exam.
School Club Roundup is a semi-annual event sponsored by the Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club and the American Radio Relay League. Points are awarded for each radio contact made, with bonuses for new states, provinces, clubs, and schools. The BHSS club also won the contest in 2013. Faculty sponsor, Mr. Neil Rapp, describes the honor for the students, saying, “I couldn’t be more proud of these students and what they have accomplished. Their dedication and education have paid off in a real-world event. Things that they learn in ham radio club will open endless opportunities to their future.”
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