[SatNews] "...My new motto is: Our whole world seems to start and end with science! Thank you for having us!”
Female science students get a glimpse into the fascinating world of space exploration
In a first-ever project of its kind science and mathematics girl learners from schools in the Somerset West, Stellenbosch, and Strand area were given exposure to the 'real working world', but more specifically, to the industry of aerospace engineering in the hopes that this would inspire them to consider a career path in engineering.
The introduction to the aerospace engineering was held in the form of a workshop last week, conducted by the Somerset West-based Space Advisory Company and its Satellite Engineering Academy as a contribution to Cell C's 'Take a Girl Child to Work Initiative'. The workshop gave them an overview of the International Space Industry, Astronomy, and Space Science and Engineering. There was also a practical portion, which included an introduction to mechanical engineering tools utilized in developing satellites, as well as an opportunity to participate in a paper satellite building activity.
Some 50 female grade 10 - 12 learners who take physical science and mathematics as subjects from the following schools attended: Kayamandi High School; Cloetesville High School; Rusthof High School; Gordon High School, Macassar High School; and Madasratur Rajaa Strand High School. The workshop was held on Thursday, 29 May at the Space Advisory Company headquarters in Somerset West Links Business Park.
The learners clearly found this a fascinating experience, as their remarks would testify. “I found this outing really interesting. I got to learn certain things about satellites and astronomy that I’ve never known. My new motto is: Our whole world seems to start and end with science! Thank you for having us!” says Davean Davids, a grade-12 learner from Cloetesville High School in Stellenbosch.
Crystal van der Heyde a grade-12 learner from Gordon High School in the Strand said: “As a matric learner I am faced with the choice of what I want to become; after today I can say that I now am well informed and inspired to do something that is as fascinating as Space. I’ve learnt so much and now have a new goal”
Learners from Madasraur Rajaa High School in the Strand remarked that “If you want to be a star in space, become an engineer”, while Lindokuhle Xaki, a grade-12 learner from Rusthof Secondary School in the Strand concluded that “No one is ever too old to make a change or to dream a new dream.”
"Taking part in Cell C's ‘Take a Girl Child to Work Initiative’ represented an exciting departure from Space Advisory Company’s existing community interactions," says Dr. Sias Mostert, CEO of Space Advisory Company. "While Space Advisory Company has always understood the important role to be played by women in the context of socioeconomic development and as such, has remained an avid supporter of gender equality and the holistic empowerment of women, the industry of engineering and more specifically aerospace engineering has remained largely male dominated. Recognizing this challenge within the South African landscape, Space Advisory Company utilized this initiative as an opportunity to provide female students with exposure to the “real working world”, but more specifically, to the industry of aerospace engineering in the hopes that this will inspire them to consider a career path in engineering."
Space Advisory Company is a subsidiary of the Space Commercial Services Group, a prominent South African private satellite company. The group specializes in providing space engineering advice, services and related products and offers a complete service package in support of satellite programs especially to developing countries. Space Advisory Company delivers program management for satellite system acquisition programs and systems engineering and advisory services for space hardware development.
The group has recently established their headquarters in the Somerset West Links Business Park and has in excess of 40 on-site staff consisting mainly of Satellite Engineers, Software Engineers, Technicians, Program- and Project Managers and Geo-Spatial and Earth Observation Specialists.