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Exploring the Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS)

young BIPOC girl communicating via ham radio
"When everything else fails. amateur radio often times is our last line of defense...When you need amateur radio, you really need them." 
W. Craig Fugate Administrator, FEMA
When all else fails Amateur Radio works

The Application Period for "Wave One" (January-May, 2023) is now closed.  Bookmark this space, though - we will be recruiting for the next cohorts in Spring, 2023:

Summer, 2023 ("Wave 1.5") 
 Fall, 2023 ("Wave 2") during the Spring, 2023.

Learn More about the EMS Ham Radio Project

NRAO and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI) is excited about the funding that we have received from Amateur Radio Digital Communications to deliver a new 2-year project, “Exploring the Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS)”.

This innovative project will educate high school and college students about the electromagnetic spectrum while sharing the excitement of amateur (ham) radio among BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students.

The EMS Ham Radio Project will:

  • Introduce students to the EMS and radio technologies
  • Develop a scalable, shareable curriculum via SuperKnova
  • Provide hands on activities to deepen subject knowledge, and
  • Support student attainment of Technical and General Class Amateur Radio Licenses. 

NRAO was selected for this project because of our proven track record of bringing together excellent content experts and best equity practices to bring underrepresented minority students to the sciences.

While perhaps unfamiliar to many, amateur radio (also known as 'ham radio') provides a hands-on entry point to understanding the radio spectrum and its practical uses. Thus, it can be an entry to a career in sciences, a life-long citizen scientist hobby, or an important part of community emergency infrastructure and response.

We know it’s not enough to just “invite” URM students to the table. In addition to technical knowledge and experience, we will also provide the following support structures to all student participants:

  • Financial support/stipend
  • Weekly coaching meetings with mentors
  • Support students in exploring academic and professional careers in STEM
  • Networking opportunities
  • Conferences to present their work
  • Collaborations with partners
  • Connections with amateur radio clubs
Picture of Jesse Alexander

Jesse Alexander, he/him, WB2IFS/3 Ham Radio Project Lead

This project is made possible by a generous grant from the Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC).

We would also like to thank the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) for donating license manuals and other learning materials and acknowledge the Tuscon Amateur Packet Radio and the Young Amateurs Radio Club for their administrative and technical support in this endeavor.

Register your interest!