On the 5th and 6th December 2016, students at Northfields International School in Mauritius took a giant leap into the great beyond, as UK space scientist and TV presenter Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock led an interactive study day, opened with a keynote address from Her Excellency President Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim.
As part of the ‘Science and Technology Enrolment Programme’, the ‘STEP into Space’ study day gave 50 students aged 13-14 a unique opportunity to learn about space and the applications for space science here on earth. Throughout an interactive day of workshops, lectures, question and answer sessions and hands-on learning activities, students uncovered 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 2016 the STEP programme has delivered 8 interactive study days, 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”.
John McIlraith, Director Northfields International School “Our support of the STEP into Space study day is part of the Northfields ongoing effort to promote science on our campus. We view the development of science within the region as extremely important and we will do our utmost to continue this support in the future”.