Worcester Polytechnic Institute Students Offer Amateur Radio Class

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, Mass. - Students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute's (WPI) Wireless Association are offering an introductory course to earn a Ham Radio License.

The course is being offered on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., from January 14th to March 4th, 2002 at WPI's Higgins Laboratories. Cost for the program is $25 for textbook and materials. Registration is required and must be completed by January 14th. To register for the program, contact Bob Taylor, WPI Wireless Association at 508-831-5990 or email hamclass@wpi.edu. The organization also has a website at www.wpi.edu/~wpiwa/.

"People earning a ham radio license can talk with astronauts on the International Space Station or talk around the world with other radio operators who share similar interests," said John Ruggiero, head of the WPI Wireless Association. "Operators learn how to bounce radio signals off the upper layers of the atmosphere or off satellites, and exchange pictures with other radio operators using television."

Amateur Radio today has become a crucial part of public life. Hams, as amateur radio operators are called, have helped the public in numerous ways, including assisting with communications in times of disaster, assisting the National Weather service by providing weather reports, and helping out in local parades, walk-a-thons, and helping with communications at the New York City and Boston Marathons.

Amateur radio operators are required to be licensed by the Federal Communications Commission in order to operate their radios. This program helps individuals earn their first amateur radio license.