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September 29, 2011

ULM Amateur Radio Club teams with Kiroli Elementary School for space station contact

ULM's Amateur Radio Club lent their expertise to 14 students at Kiroli Elementary School Sept. 22 as they spoke via amateur radio with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Dr. Satoshi Furukawa onboard the International Space Station.

ULM Amateur Radio Club members Kayla Laney of West Monroe, Terri O'Banion of Pineville, Paul Boquet of Monroe, Cameron Brister of Alexandria, Aaron Miyahira of West Monroe, and David Reeves of West Monroe provided assistance during the event.

All six students are pursuing a major in computer science within the ULM College of Business Administration.

For approximately 10 minutes, the time of an International Space Station overhead pass, the Kiroli students asked questions of the astronaut about life in space and related topics.

In December 2010, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration selected Kiroli Elementary School to participate in an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station contact based on an application submitted by Carolyn Norris, Kiroli's principal; Dr. Paul D. Wiedemeier, ULM associate professor of computer science; and Dr. Benson Scott, a local physician.

ARISS contacts are provided to K-12 schools and educational institutions worldwide through a partnership between NASA, the American Radio Relay League, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, and other amateur radio organizations and space agencies in Russia, Canada, Japan, and Europe.

"Kiroli Elementary School is the first school in the state of Louisiana to hold an ARISS contact, and I am sure the children will remember this day forever," Wiedemeier said.

For more information about the ULM Amateur Radio Club or how to obtain an amateur radio license, contact Wiedemeier at or 318-342-1856 or by visiting the club's Web site at

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