Space training for African youths opens applications

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 16 Nov 2023
Intelsat and MaxIQ Space collaborate on STEM education for Africa.
Intelsat and MaxIQ Space collaborate on STEM education for Africa.

Satellite provider Intelsat and educational resource provider MaxIQ Spaceare accepting applications for the upcoming instalment of their space-focused STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) programme.

Next year will mark four years of the space STEM initiative, which looks to attract high school learners from across the African continent to design, build and, for certain missions, launch satellites into space.

The primary goal is for learners to understand their role in building a STEM workforce pipeline in Africa, by working on a space-focused assignment to develop a design for a habitat on Mars. All engagements aim to support and promote a digital future, mapped to the identified requirements of the fourth industrial revolution.

Intelsat provides 30 scholarships to the strongest candidates to participate in the programme. They receive an Intelsat MaxIQ kit at their home and join live virtual workshops with subject matter experts.

“The Intelsat Space STEM programme opened my eyes to the potential that exists within Africa’s youth to take part in the development of future space technologies,” says Mahlubi Radebe, a MaxIQ student from South Africa. “I am excited to become part of the next generation of scientists and engineers that will bring Africa to the forefront of global space exploration.”

Gender disparity in STEM-related fields continues to be a global concern, with women said to make up only 28% of the STEM workforce.

In South Africa, statistics show women make up about 23% of the ICT sector's workforce.

As part of the sustainability curriculum, MaxIQ integrates the United Nations and UNICEF’s sustainable development goals into the programme’s challenges, in an effort to harmonise space STEM education with global sustainability efforts.

Additionally, a new alumni support programme has been launched, providing the 37 MaxIQ participants from past years with a hands-on opportunity to engage in real-world space data collection and helping them to remain involved in space science into the future.

Interested candidates must be between the ages of 14 and 18, live on the African continent, demonstrate a passion for and knowledge of STEM, have a clear interest in all things ‘space’, have access to the internet through a smart device with browser capability, have browser skills, as well as be proficient in English.

To apply, applicants must complete an online form and space-related quiz and submit a short explanation of why they should be selected.

The deadline to apply is 31 December.