Grant: National VOA Museum STEM Lab Expansion

Date: May 2022
Amount: $25,500

The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting is dedicated to preserving the history of the Voice Of America (VOA) and the impact of radio historically and today. It is located in Bethany Station, OH and was the first high power short wave transmission facility commissioned by the VOA. Beginning in 1942, Bethany housed six of the most powerful transmitters in the world and beamed programs to Europe, Africa, and South America. Using stories and displays, the Museum connects the technology of radio with the extraordinary impact it had and continues to have on society.

Many of the museum’s offerings are targeted at young people. The STEM Lab was first developed in response to requests for educational materials about radio. The Museum is also home to WC8VOA, the club station for the West Chester Amateur Radio Association. The club has an extensive program of introducing amateur radio to young people, including Scouting groups, science clubs and most recently, Youth on the Air.

The grant will be used to expand and relocate the Museum’s STEM LAB. The lab was developed in 2018 to engage young people and explain the basics of radio. The hands-on interactive exhibit takes the user from the discovery of Lodestone (natural magnetism) to the iPhone. Using the discoveries of iconic figures like Volta, Faraday, Hertz, and Marconi, the visitors learn about wave theory and other radio-related concepts. The aim of the Lab is to encourage to study of radio communications by showing how the same physics employed by Marconi is used in most every wireless device today.