NORWICH, Conn. — From the Ham Radio Club on the fourth floor of a classroom building at Norwich Free Academy, the educational opportunities were far-reaching to begin the week.
The Norwich Free Academy’s Ham Radio Club began in 1944 but had never enjoyed a day like this before. The student-run Ham Radio Club – about a dozen students strong – spent the last four months plus on a project to connect with the International Space Station -- on Monday, it was mission accomplished.
Anthony Girasoli, the NFA director of technology said, “It is the biggest day ever, we’ve never done anything as big as this in our club, so the students are really excited and is all been student driven.”
Girasoli helped to secure a $10,000 grant that awarded the NFA Ham Radio Club the new equipment needed to connect with the ISS. Clark Dziavit, an NFA freshman member of the Ham Radio Club said, “All of the students in the club, we’ve done the research, it’s really a team effort.”
Students had a ten-minute window to fire off questions to Dr. Josh Cassada, a NASA astronaut who has been aboard the ISS for 180 days. Cassada was excited and receptive to all the questions that ranged from what astronauts eat aboard the ISS to the impact that zero-gravity has on their bodies.
Julia Sujeki, a Norwich Free Academy junior and member of the Ham Radio Club said, “Once you think about this in 20 or 10 years you are going to say, ‘look what I did in high school’ and this will definitely be one of those things you will remember.” Dziavit added, “this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, this is definelty an incredible thing.”
Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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