Following a series of space science related activities run and coordinated by the Planet Earth Institute in the UK, an STEP study day on the issue will be held on 5th December 2016, in partnership with Northfields International School in Mauritius.
Throughout an interactive day of workshops, lectures, question and answer sessions and hands-on learning activities, 50 students aged 13-14 will uncover some of the key issues at the heart of space science, its relation to everyday life, and the potential that the area has to transform the African continent. In the morning, students will have the opportunity to work with the space scientist and BBC presenter, Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock, who will give a talk on the solar system, the forces that shape our everyday life as well as the implications for satellite technologies. Following the workshops and activities, HE Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius and Vice Chairperson of the Planet Earth Institute Foundation, will join to speak to the students.
Increasingly, space science and technology is being recognised as a key enabler for sustainable development on the African continent. On 31st January 2016 during the African Union Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa, the AU adopted the African Space Policy and Strategy, outlining the continent’s ambition to actively participate in the development of space-related science, technology, applications and services.
In partnership with Northfields International School and their vision for holistic education, ‘STEP into Space’ will aim to inspire students’ critical thinking skills and spark enthusiasm for science related fields of study, to encourage young learners to pursue these subjects to tertiary level. To date, the STEP programme has delivered 7 interactive study days in 2016, directly engaging with over 500 secondary school students across Mauritius and more than 20 schools. Likewise, Northfields International School is heavily engaged with science and technology in Mauritius, with scientific expeditions to Rodrigues and La Reunion islands, as well as the investment in a new state of the art science laboratory, due to open early next year.
HE Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius and Vice Chairman and Trustee of the Planet Earth Institute
“If sustainable development is to be a reality in Mauritius, it is vital that we inspire our future generations to study the sciences. By allowing students to learn about the wonders of space science and meet experts in the field, the STEP into Space study day will assist the students involved to gain a real understanding and appreciation for STEM subjects, and the diverse career opportunities that are available”.
Dr. Álvaro Sobrinho, Chairman of the Planet Earth Institute
“Our STEP initiative helps to foster a deeper understanding of the sciences among Mauritian secondary students, and assist them to make their future study choices. STEP will continue to work with a diverse range of stakeholders to ensure that students in Mauritius can learn about new and exciting aspects of science, as well as appreciate its vital importance to their country’s future”.