Empowering Young Girls Through Space Education and Mentorship by KSA Space Club at St Agnes Girls Primary School

During the first mentorship event of 2022, the young ladies of St. Agnes primary School in Kirinyaga were treated to a day of space related lessons and activities. Located 100 km from the Nairobi Central Business District, St. Agnes in Kirinyaga county is an institution dedicated to moulding young girls into movers of society.

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St. Agnes primary School Students and KSA Space Club team

 

The Space Club team visited the school on the 9th of February 2022. The mentorship program was developed under the Space Club program in 2021 to encourage, guide and inform the aspiring space industry professionals. This program aims to give an opportunity to connect with established industry professionals in order to develop an understanding of their career aspirations and industry and give them guidance on relevant paths to achieving their dreams.

Two hundred and eighty students from grades four to seven were given lessons in four areas of focus which are the pillars of the Space Sector in the country. These are Earth Observation, Space Systems Engineering, Astronomy and Space Science and Information Technology. Facilitated by specialists in these sectors the students had topical lessons followed by career guidance and an introduction to the core values of Space Club.

Information Technology & Robotics: During the sessions, the students were informed on the importance of robotics in our daily lives. The students were introduced to the basic parts of robots and the significance of these machines in space exploration.

 

Earth Observation: The session exposed the students to the need and importance of monitoring and assessing data and information using geo-spatial information systems (GIS) to inform decisions. They were taken though the earth systems and the process of earth observation using satellite technology. For a practical activity, the girls had to use hand-held GPS devices to locate hidden treasures around the school.

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Earth Observation specialist talks to students about Earth Observation concepts

 

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Students locating ground points using hand-held GPS devices

 

Space Science & Astronomy: During this session, the students were taken through a tour of the solar system. Interesting facts such as the nature of Mars’ red surface, Saturn’s rings and why Pluto is no longer classified as a planet were relayed to the students. They also had a chance to look through a telescope to observe the phenomenon of sun spots on the sun.

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Space Science & Astronomy specialist with students in the planetarium

 

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Students looking through a telescope

 

Space Systems Engineering: Under this session, some of the concepts covered included the properties of rockets and the principles that allow humans to travel to space. The aerodynamical concepts of space flight were then demonstrated using the water rocket.

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Space Systems Engineering specialists talks to students on space flight concepts

 

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Students launching the water rocket

 

All the students were taught about the array of careers and opportunities in the different fields. They also learnt about core values such as discipline, respect, hard work, ingenuity, teamwork and science- culture that would help them on their journeys to achieving their dreams.

Using the agency’s newly developed student’s content in the various space disciplines, students in different schools around the country will continue to be guided and mentored on their journeys towards their space careers of interest. Virtual lessons will also be available for students who wish to learn more outside their school settings. These are some of the many Space Club activities planned to promote the Club’s motto.

Space Club – Space Education for the future.