Robert P. Hopkins

Associate Professor of Computer Science

STEM Activity

STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

The professional responsibilities of engineering educators not only involve the teaching of our subjects, but the celebration of what it is that we have the privilege of doing.  The importance of instilling an awareness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in young students is great.  Children at a very early age can learn about the possibilities and start to explore quite a few interesting areas.  Below you will find the story of how four classes of third graders were able to experience the excitement of speaking to an astronaut on the shuttle Columbia and being able to ask questions about life as a space traveler.  The journey the students took to the 'interview' is chronicled in the article written for CQ Amateur Radio, published in March of 2003. 


Amateur (ham) radio, is a hobby that can open a young person to a world of possibilities.  The hobby involves learning about communication technologies, electronics, and the two way communications between other amateurs world wide, and sometimes out of this world. For more information about amateur radio, visit and

Speaking of young folks learning about science and technology and bringing that to their adult careers, here is another article also written for CQ, in March of 2007.  An interview with Dr. Michael Griffin.  At the time Dr. Griffin was the Administrator of NASA.  Dr. Griffin is also an amateur radio operator whose call sign is NR3A. 


 Berkley Heights, New Jersey has a unique approach to summer recreation camps programs for their children.  In addition to the traditional camp activities, a group of volunteers have put together a ham radio program geared to attracting the children to join in the hobby.  The following article also written for CQ and published in April of 2009, tells the story of the children and their dedicated group of volunteers.  Please follow page by page the story about the ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) experiment.

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 Ham radio can make the study of science fun.  It is impotant for young people to experience the joy of learning and the enthusiam of those who provide the experience.  This seems to work quite well. It has for me for over fifty years.