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Students Become 'Hams' For Good Purpose

Nineteen eighth graders at A. C. Stelle Middle School in Calabasas passed their Federal Communications Commission Amateur Radio exams to earn their Technician Class Radio Licenses.

Science Department Chair Karl Beutel challenged his honors science classes to study the material outside of class and take the exams as an extra credit project.

"This is a significant achievement for students this age and will equip them to provide valuable public service," Beutel said.

"The knowledge the students acquire in electronics, radio theory and safety will serve them well as they continue their education in high school, college and in their careers," he said.

Norm Goodkin, volunteer examiner and long-time ham radio operator, expects the new ama

teurs to provide Calabasas with emergency communications services, eventually joining the Amateur Radio Emergency Service and the LA County Sheriff 's Department's Disaster Communications Service.

Goodkin's two granddaughters, Mikaylah and Eliana, are also operators and have their own call signs. They've been broadcasting since they were 9 years old.

"There's no age limit in amateur radio. Some very young hams have provided emergency communications worldwide," Beutel said.

The exam sessions were staffed with accredited volunteer examiners from the Greater Los Angeles Radio Group. In addition to Goodkin, volunteers included Dan Goodkin, Naomi Goodkin, Mari Levenson and Murray Kay.

Joe Nardo, the Las Virgenes assistant superintendent of education and also a licensed ham radio operator, praised the project, calling it a "great idea."

The license provides opportunities for international communications, pubic speaking, foreign language and technical experimentation.