[aprssig] College tuitions

Corey Shields cshields at indiana.edu
Wed Apr 9 15:04:01 EDT 2008

Bogdan, Rick wrote:
> I've worked at Boston University where the ham club folded 25+ years
> ago, sad.  I was a member of MIT's club, back then, with 2 student
> members, mostly older alumni were members. I now work at Ursinus College
> (www.ursinus.edu) and I can't even get the Linux kids interested, even
> sadder. 

Well that's the thing..  Getting the linux kids.

Before coming back to work for IU, I worked a couple of years for OSU's 
Open Source Lab in Oregon.  With the hub of open source development 
hosting there, a lot of linux kids gravitate that way, and they are very 
active and passionate about it.  A couple of weeks back I asked a few of 
them why they haven't gotten into ham radio, following the idea that the 
methodologies of tinkering and openness are very parallel.  I got a lot 
of interesting answers including the obvious cost of entry (though a 
good used HT costs less than an iPod), and the license test. 

The one common thread I found in their answers is that they just haven't 
been exposed to it.  They had all heard of "ham radio" but nobody knows 
really what that means or what all it entails.  Thinking back to my own 
entry about 14 years ago, I had friends who were into the hobby and I 
got exposure just being around them so I can't really recall a time 
where I had heard about it but not known what it was.  I don't think I 
would have been inclined on my own to go for it without that exposure.

Another student brought up an interesting but bizarre point of the 
introverted geek not wanting to step out of his/her shell for something 
new like ham radio.  Granted, the linux geeks can all participate and 
contribute to open source with a certain amount of animosity. We just 
have to make and keep ham an inviting hobby for people, especially when new.

Thanks for the comments.  Sorry to hijack the list with a non-aprs 
topic.  I would note that given the computer aspect, APRS is a part of 
ham that provides a bit of exposure that students quickly relate to, 
when they see a computer with a map of their local area.  So this is one 
thing to demonstrate and "get them hooked".

-Corey, KB9JHU

Corey Shields
High Performance Systems, Indiana University - UITS

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