Ariss Story

Delcastle Technical High School and Hodgson Vocational High School, two schools in the New Castle County [Delaware] Vo-Tech School District (NCCVTSD), are partnering on this ARISS Contact.


At Delcastle, where the event will take place, each science class is supporting the ARISS contact through their lessons and class activities.  Physical science teachers are investigating electromagnetic waves, to help students understand how radio waves are used to communicate with the ISS and how the space station protects its crew from solar radiation. Biology students are investigating methods of growing a sustainable food supply for space travel as part of their unit on photosynthesis and cellular respiration.  Chemistry students are exploring the nuclear reactions that powers the Sun and learning how to calculate exposure to solar radiation.  Integrated science teachers focus their lessons on the different types of radio waves used for communication and how solar weather can affect their transmission.  From these lessons, students will prepare questions for the ISS astronauts.


Just as on the International Space Station, teamwork is an important part of our mission to prepare students for a career and/or college.   Students in the school’s Digital Media career program designed and produced banners and t-shirts and are using social media platforms to promote the ARISS contact.  Students and faculty also designed a website,, so the community at large could learn about ARISS.  Video production students will document the event and stream the experience on Facebook Live so all NCCVTSD students and viewers everywhere can participate.


Hodgson Vo-Tech High School, a sister school 15 miles to the south of Delcastle, is building the ground station antennas.  Students in the school’s Academy of Manufacturing / Pre-Engineering career area are responsible for the antenna construction.   The antenna will be installed on Delcastle’s roof for communication with the ISS.


The ARISS experience is a unique opportunity for our school, and would not be possible without the help and support of the local community.  ILC Dover, developer and producer of the Space Suit Assembly used by the crew of the ISS, was an original endorser of our ARISS proposal. The company, located 60 miles south of the school, is curating a temporary exhibit of its technology that will be on display at Delcastle for students to visit days prior to the ARISS contact.  Coincidently, an ILC Dover materials expert is a graduate of Delcastle, and has helped to plan the exhibit.  The sponsoring partner, Radio Newark, is providing the engineering and ground station operations in partnership with the students and faculty at Delcastle and Hodgson.  We are certain that young minds will be challenged throughout this STEM-focused activity.


Radio Newark, the sponsoring organization for the ARISS event, is a Science radio station. The station is an IRS-recognized educational broadcast service that focuses on stories about science and scientists, and current news from the world of science.  The station can be heard through iTunes, apps like TuneIn and, and through the online player at  Over the air, WIZU-FM may be heard in its hometown of Newark, Delaware, broadcasting from the STAR Campus (Science, Technology and Advanced Research) of the University of Delaware.