Intelsat, the operator of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial network, is partnering with XinaBox (pronounced “X in a Box”) to deliver space-focused STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning tools to teenagers across the African continent.
Sixteen teenage applicants from all over the continent, including South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Sudan, were recently selected for the Intelsat-funded XinaBox STEM learning programme. The students will receive free access to XinaBox’s dedicated space STEM kits and educational programmes that help students design and build satellites that could feasibly launch into space.
The 16 students will follow a multi-week educational programme. Mission one, which begins this week, will involve experiments and data collection and learning about data science, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT). The experiments are all linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The programme is designed to spark a lifelong interest in STEM and pave the way for a more technologically advanced workforce.
“Building the pipeline of the next generation of satellite engineers begins with our partnership with XinaBox”, said Christell Meyers, Intelsat’s Sales Director in Africa. “Sparking that tech interest at such a young age can inspire future leaders who will soon lead the way with advancements we never dreamed possible”.
“When the Intelsat team suggested supporting African students on our flagship program, we were excited and inspired. Our primary goal is to give access to space for all”, noted Judi Sandrock, one of the co-founders of XinaBox. “Intelsat’s values and ours are aligned, with the students and their futures at the core. Intelsat’s support will allow the XinaBox Space STEM program to accelerate as we move into 2021”.
Today’s students are tomorrow’s innovators. According to PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey, by 2030 Africa will be home to more than a quarter of the world’s population under 25, making up 60% of the continent’s total population. By then, 15% of the world’s working-age population will be in Africa. And, while the continent will lead the way in a youthful workforce, right now, 65% of African CEOs said key workforce skills shortages are preventing them from innovating effectively.
Additional updates on the 16 students selected to participate in the Intelsat-XinaBox STEM education programme in the coming weeks.