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A crew of ICJA seniors joined the ranks of licensed ham radio enthusiasts around the world recently by passing their licensing exam. The students were trained in their Electronics & Communication STEM course taught by Mr. Newman, who has taught ham radio as a club at ICJA for years. Amateur operators are tested for their understanding of key concepts in electronics and the host government’s radio regulations. The number of students who passed the licensing exam was the highest ever among Mr. Newman’s cohorts. Each student received his or her own ham radio and call sign, regulated and issued by the government.

Students in electronics & communication are able to get a fourth science credit without taking an Advanced Placement course. The goals of the class are multifaceted, says Mr. Newman. “Living in the technological age that we do, it is incumbent upon us to teach our students the basics of how certain technologies work.”

Through this course students learn:

  • A background in basic electronics, such as how certain electronic components work and how they interact within a circuit
  • Basic radio theory, such as how radios antennas, radio wave propagation and much more work. Students will gain enough knowledge to earn a technician class license
  • Oratory skills necessary to converse with others via the radio
  • U.S and world geography

Additionally, students learn Morse Code. Mr. Newman says, “In spite of the fact that no government requires the knowledge of Morse Code anymore, I believe that it is still an integral part of being a ham radio operator, and I stress this aspect of the hobby in my class.” The students practice code every day, and each student will be proficient in Morse Code by the end of the course, allowing them to have a conversation with others via the radio using code.

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