The second annual Intelsat Africa STEM Space Challenge is in full swing. Thanks to Intelsat’s partnership with MaxIQ Space (formerly Xinabox), the Xinabox Space STEM (space, technology, engineering, and math) program is delivered to students across Africa.
Thirty-one students from across the continent were chosen to participate, and they were given Space STEM kits that aligned with the United Nations’ development goals. The intensive program will stimulate these students to design, build, and launch satellites. This unique opportunity is wholly online, with each student getting a STEM kit and participating in virtual seminars led by space education experts.
The kits are made up of various electronic components and sensors that have been carefully chosen for optimum use and experimentation. They are meant to encourage exploration and learning.
These students will be able to engage with important Internet of Things and Big Data concepts and develop electronic products and solutions. Students will utilise the items as they design and assemble their own devices, collect data with sensors, and upload that data through the internet to the data dashboard, where they will learn to track and analyse data. In addition, students learn about the environment while conducting these experiments and reviewing the results on a cloud dashboard in real-time.
The program manager for MaxIQ, Judi Sandrock, said “The participants are engaging in STEM topics that they perhaps do not cover in their schooling and applying their knowledge when conducting the practical experiments. Our team is inspired by the youngsters’ high engagement and the energy they are directing at this program.” “The challenge is twofold, a group project to develop a satellite design concept supporting a sustainable development goal and an individual design submission for a habitat on Mars, “he added.
In his remark, Hans Geldenhuys, Intelsat director of sales, Africa, said, “We believe this type of scientific experiment is helpful for students to see how technology can solve real-world problems that will impact their future.”
Explaining further, he said “Intelsat is proud to encourage interest in STEM for our next generation of Space leaders. We hope this exciting program opens their eyes to the endless possibilities that Space Science has to offer and encourages them to explore STEM in a practical, exciting, and engaging way leveraging the power of satellite technology and innovation.”
As of this writing, 10 workshops have been completed, with three more to go. Participants must submit their group and individual assignment by May 31, 2022, to complete the challenge.
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