The ARRL Letter
Vol. 21, No. 48
December 13, 2002
==>ROCK STAR GIVES MAJOR DONATION TO "THE BIG PROJECT"
Hoping that his donation will spur others to contribute to "The Big
Project," veteran rock star and well-known amateur Joe Walsh, WB6ACU,
given in a major way to ARRL's Education and Technology Fund. ARRL Chief
Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, says the "significant gift"
through the Joseph F. Walsh Foundation will fund an additional eight
schools in the ARRL Education and Technology Program.
ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, expressed his gratitude for Walsh's
dedication and support to The Big Project's goals and aims. "I am
particularly pleased with Joe's donation, as it emphasizes his belief in
our school project and more importantly, investing in the future of
Amateur Radio," Haynie said. "The additional schools that will be
into the program as a result of this donation represent a big step in
increasing the number of students participating in the ARRL Science and
Walsh, best-known as a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter with The
and The James Gang, has been an active Amateur Radio operator for more
than 37 years. He's also an avid collector of Collins Radio gear. The
amount of his donation was not made public.
The Big Project--as the program is popularly known--highlights Amateur
Radio as a significant resource for teachers in classrooms as well as
enrichment and after-school programs. The 40 pilot schools now in the
program receive a complete Amateur Radio station, technical library and
curriculum that makes technology fun and relevant for the participating
Walsh's contribution was one of 3500 made by ARRL members,
who--together--have raised more $225,000 to fund the Education &
Technology Program in 2003.
==>CURRICULUM REVIEW IS NEXT ON "THE BIG PROJECT" AGENDA
With the addition of 14 new schools--13 pilot schools and one progress
grant school--in December, the ARRL Education and Technology
Big Project"--is up to a total of 41 participating schools. That's more
than double the number of schools involved since the program's launch in
Early in 2003, the 13 pilot schools will be receiving complete Amateur
Radio station equipment, a curriculum and a technical library, said ARRL
Education and Technology Program coordinator Jerry Hill, KH6HU. The 14th
school, which already uses Amateur Radio in the classroom, will receive
$500 progress grant.
More than new schools is being added to the Education and Technology
Program. Hill said that as the program nears its first full year in
existence, an evaluation of the curriculum is now under way.
"We have a new draft of the curriculum, and we'll be testing it in all
the schools, asking them to add their lessons and activities and report
back in June," Hill said. "Then we'll get a new one out for September
post it on the Web. The new curriculum will be out there for anyone to
use." Hill says he does not expect Web posting until late next year,
Hill said that The Big Project will update the curriculum yearly, so the
program can offer teachers and students a continually improved program.
One of the first major efforts will be to split the text of the
into two parts--elementary and secondary. That way, Hill said, the
can offer developmentally appropriate levels of instruction while still
teaching similar concepts to all participants.
The program's first pilot school was DeGolyer Elementary School in
Texas. DeGolyer, which tested the program beginning in 2001, got
major-market media exposure December 9 when its activities were featured
in a Dallas Morning News article. Under the direction of teacher Sanlyn
Kent, KD5LXO--who was not a ham when she began working with the
at DeGolyer--the program has turned out 30 new young hams in fewer than