Ref. No. 68
||Dec. 7, 2001
||Memorial University and the local chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to celebrate Marconi's first transatlantic wireless transmission
Note to editors:
Memorial University and the local chapter of the Institute of Electrical
and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) will host the Marconi Crystal Radio
Contest on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2001. The contest will be held in the Music
Building located on Memorial's St. John's campus. Activities will get
underway at 8:45 a.m. as grade-nine students proceed to the judging station
to have their handmade radios tested. The event will wrap up with an awards
ceremony beginning at 10:15 a.m. and ending at 10:45 a.m. Special guest His
Honour Lt.-Gov. Dr. A.M. House will be in attendance to present the awards.
Officials from provincial government, Memorial University, IEEE, the
participating schools and invited guests, will also be in attendance.
The Marconi Crystal Radio Contest celebrates the first transatlantic
wireless signal ever received. On Dec. 12, 1901, at Signal Hill,
Newfoundland, a young Italian inventor named Marconi used a receiver and a
wire connected to a kite to receive the Morse code dot-dot-dot from
England, more then 2000 km away. The contest is also an
opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in electrical
engineering using household items that are simple, inexpensive and fun, but
challenge them to be creative.
In November 2001, junior high schools across the province were given
crystal radio kits developed by the Instrumentation, Control and Automation
(INCA) Centre at Memorial University. From the parts included in the kit,
students constructed a crystal radio comprised of a tissue box, toilet
paper roll, tinfoil, paper clips and copper wire.
On Dec. 12, 2001, representatives from selected schools in St. John's will
bring their crystal radios to the Music Building for the contest. Using a
helium balloon, they will raise the antennae, just as Marconi did in his
experiments. The student whose radio receives the strongest signal will be
chosen as the winner. Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third
place students, and prizes will also be presented to the schools they are
At the conclusion of the ceremony, members of the Marconi Radio Club of
Newfoundland will use Morse code to re-enact Marconi's first transmission
by speaking directly to Poldhu, England. His Honour Lt.-Gov. Dr. A.M. House
will be invited to exchange greetings with the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall,
Lady Mary Holborrow. The exchange will be broadcast to students and invited
guests in the D.F. Cook Recital Hall, Music Building, Memorial University
(earlier, at 7.a.m., on Dec. 12, the Marconi Radio Club will attempt a
direct 2-way radio link with Tasmania).
Media agencies are encouraged to send representatives as there will be
ample photo and video opportunities.
For Further information please contact Ivan Muzychka, manager, Memorial
University News Service, 709-737-8665, 709-687-9433 (cell) or by e-mail at
Tracey Mills, information officer (engineering), Faculty of Engineering and
Applied Science, 709-737-8287 or by e-mail at email@example.com