December is YOTA (Youth On The Air) Month around the world, and young hams involved with the YOTA organization in North and South America were very active in 2020. According to the YOTA in the Americas group (<www.YouthOnTheAir.org>), 24 operators under age 25 took turns operating four special event stations in the US and cranked out more than 14,000 contacts!
17-year-old Audrey McElroy, KM4BUN,
was among two dozen young U.S. hams
who took part in operating special
event stations during YOTA month in
December 2020 (Photos courtesy
YOTA in the Americas)
Four 1x1 special callsigns were used during the event: K8Y, K8O, K8T, and K8A (Y-O-T-A). The young operators made 14,699 QSOs using SSB, CW, digital modes, and satellites, according to the group. This is an 11.3% increase in QSOs from their total in 2019 (12,487). Some operators used the callsigns during contests such as CWops CWTs, FT Roundup, and the RAC Winter contest.
The following is from the YouthOnTheAir.org report:
We asked USA operators for their
favorite aspect of YOTA Month. Michael Lippert, W3MLJ, said, "My favorite
part of YOTA month was running 5 radios at once. They were all on digital
modes. Running the big FT8 pileups was very fun and to see the rate of the
contacts being logged was really cool." Calin Rismiller, K8MTJ,
commented, "In general I liked making a bunch of QSOs in a short period of
time. In particular, I had a really nice conversation with KC9CUK, Erich, on 40
meters. I also got a kick out of working ZR1ADI, South Africa, on 20-meter
Youth from the Americas enthusiastically spread the word about youth in amateur
radio and made 14,699 QSOs in the process. The event was a great prelude for
the first ever camp to be hosted in the western hemisphere, which is planned
for July 11-16, 2021.
Calin Rismiller, K8MTJ, of Columbus, Ohio
enjoyed operating special event call K8O
during YOTA month in December 2020.
Globally, over 137,000 contacts were logged using 46 callsigns, all operated by hams under the age of 26. That total surpassed last year's record number of 129,029. The USA placed second, behind Croatia, in the total number of contacts made during the event. Over 2,100 operators (both youth and adults) requested and received an award based on the number of YOTA contacts made as of January 19.
Awards that have not yet been claimed can be downloaded at <http://events.ham-yota.com>. Additional statistics are also available at the same web location. All YOTA Month QSL cards should be requested by OQRS. More information about YOTA in the Americas can be found at <YouthOnTheAir.org>.