How many "Flexers" working with youngsters for the amateur radio

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A little off script, however a healthy amateur radio hobby and supporting industry really needs a younger demographic. In the latest ARRL contest newsletter there is a brief discussion of the current unfrtunate age demographic of amateur radio.  It cites the example of Schofield Middle School
"One 'funnel point' by age is school. It's probably not realistic to expect Amateur Radio to become part of any official curriculum, but there are teachers, faculty, parents, grand parents, and radio clubs that actively encourage school radio clubs. You can look at the results of the ARRL School Club Roundup to see some of the schools with active radio clubs, such as the Schofield Middle School in Aiken, South Carolina. The North Augusta Belvedere Radio Club sponsors that club, and seems to be doing a good job of it. What's the special sauce that the club provides? According to Ken, KQ4KK (excerpted from the October 5, 2016 Contest Update) "We have four Elmers from the sponsor club, North Augusta-Belvedere Radio Club, K4NAB, that help all year long. When not doing SCR, we spend time soldering, desoldering, making satellite contacts, operating PSK-31, foxhunting, working with electronic training kits called 'Snap Circuits' for theory and practical circuits, spend a little time on license prep, and even do some CW training." That seems like a good outline of activities, and indicates the dedication required to achieve success."

My message to Flexers is get involved. Give back now that you are old enough to have the time. The kids are truly fun. They REALLY love the visual GUI of SDR.

Dave,   WB5NHL and Schofield Middle School Elmer
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Dave - WB5NHL

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Posted 2 years ago

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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Good post and truly the power of the visual GUI of and SDR appeals to young potential hams!

There is more "secret sauce" at work here - a club that supports its Elmers and new folk, the balanced approach to many aspects of the hobby, and the preordination/observation that Elmering kids is FUN!


Steve K9ZW

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I have 3 children, 6 years old and  trying to get them licensed. I started as a teenager and was encouraged by an elmer who was a local school teacher (he is SK now). I do know the value of getting started young.

Check out my friends' website:

My opinion: There has to be some appeal to children. Things like fox hunts, contesting, homebrew etc may spark some interest and this is the kind of interest you want. Today's world is STEM driven and you want them to be interested in it. I might be biased since it's the engineer/maker streak that keeps me interested.