Tiffany Luu | Photographer

Ham radio club reaches new heights

Tiffany Luu | Photographer
Tiffany Luu | Photographer

They may just be a small group with an incredible talent, but MC’s Amateur Radio Club is taking student possibility to another atmosphere.

Throughout the year the club puts focus on the creation of the perfect high altitude balloon, a component that takes a lot of hard work and spirit to complete.

“The generic challenge of the amateur radio world is to build a successful high altitude balloon,” MC junior and club president Owen Cruise said. “This requires a balloon filled with hydrogen or helium, a radar reflector, a parachute, and a payload, which has different sensors and cameras.”

The toughest part of designing is also the best: cooperation with the other passionate members of the club.

“When you’re flying something, you want to reduce the weight as much as you can,” Owen said. “We all work together to solve this problem. We have to meet design challenges [while working] with a certain budget, with limited time and limited people.”

Other activities the club partakes in challenge them to think of new ways to build their balloon.

“We work on new designs, different components, cameras, and other equipment to test and run experiments,” MC senior and club vice president Kelsey White said. “It’s challenging because every year there are new sensors that go in [the balloon] and ways to solve problems.”

The club is not an ordinary drama or math club, as it explores an atmosphere that isn’t really taught in the classroom. It allows students to study a topic that interests them and prepares them for their future.

“It’s really cool to learn about different components of science that you don’t really get to learn about in school,” White said. “You get to learn about the atmosphere and how radio signals work. You’re surrounded by other people who are interested in the same thing.”

For engineers, joining could mean an up of understanding and an interesting pastime to use for future skills.

“There are a lot of people on this campus that want to be engineers when they grow up but they don’t know this club exists, and this provides real world engineering experience,” Owen said.

Technological enthusiasts, where you at? Real world experience and a college-app-worthy hobby, Amateur Radio Club meets Mondays after school and Tuesdays at lunch in L-2.

Written by Laura Loomis

Laura is a senior at MC and news editor on the SUN staff. Besides a passion for chickens and ranch houses, she enjoys the unpredictable nature of life.

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