Burleson ISD Students Approved for Telebridge Contact with Astronauts on International Space Station

As ISS orbits overhead at Space Night, Students Connect with Amateur Radio


BURLESON, Texas (March 28, 2017) – Due to the impressive student research taking place in Burleson Independent School District (BISD), the district announced Monday that its students will speak directly with astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) at BISD Space Night. In partnership with NASA and the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program, this activity promotes learning opportunities as part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Math) initiative.


“This real world application of space exploration, innovation and communications is invaluable,” said Superintendent Dr. Bret Jimerson. “The sky is truly no longer the limit for what students in Burleson ISD can do.”


Students received a tentative Contact date coinciding with the 2017 BISD Space Night, where students work in teams competing to send their microgravity experiment designs to the International Space Station (ISS) through the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP).


“With assistance from a technical mentor, students will connect to the remote amateur radio station as the ISS passes over the telebridge station in another part of the world,” BISD Chief Academic Innovation Officer Dr. Leslie Bender Jutzi said. “Our students will have one-on-one dialog with an ISS crewmember through a direct connection, allowing them to gain insight and make improvements to their work.”


Elementary and middle school students in the SSEP, as well as TX-801st Air Force JROTC Corps at Burleson and Centennial high schools will spend the upcoming months preparing for telebridge contact through a remote radio connection to the ISS.


The ARISS Contact allows students to   

  • Learn what kind of research is underway on the ISS,
  • Learn about NASA space research projects as well as other space agency research,
  • Investigate what is involved with space travel and space/satellite communications,
  • Explore orbital mechanics,
  • Explore radio science and wireless technologies, and
  • Encourage students to develop thoughtful questions based on what they have learned.


For more information, visit the BISD Academic Innovation website.



ARISS is a joint venture by NASA, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), and the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) to facilitate communication via Amateur Radio between astronauts aboard the International Space Station and schools and communities around the world. ARISS programs excite and motivate students in a one-of-a-kind presentation and exchange.

ARISS program goals are:

  • Inspiring an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects and in STEM careers among young people.
  • Providing an educational opportunity for students, teachers, and the general public for learning about wireless technology and radio science through Amateur Radio.
  • Providing an educational opportunity for students, teachers, and the general public for learning about space exploration, space technologies and satellite communications.



Amateur, or “Ham,” Radio, is a popular service and hobby in which federally licensed participants operate communications equipment. There are over 700,000 licensed amateurs and nearly 2,300 ARRL-affiliated Amateur Radio clubs in the United States. Hams talk to each other across town, around the world, and even into space without the need for normal communications infrastructure, such as cell phone networks or the Internet. Amateur Radio is regularly used during natural disasters to help local emergency and served agencies (such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and state and local governments) respond when normal communications methods are disrupted. The Amateur Radio community is a great source of electronics experimentation, public service, and fun.

More information on the ARISS program can be found at www.arrl.org/ariss.

More information on Amateur Radio can be found at www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio.




Burleson Independent School District serves more than 11,000 students at 16 campuses, and is recognized as a premier school district in the Dallas/Fort Worth-area. The mission of Burleson Independent School District is to engage and support every learner with a rigorous curriculum so that they graduate college and career ready.



Mikala Hill or Katelyn Tyler

Burleson ISD Communications