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16 Secondary School students from across Africa selected to participate in space-focused STEM Challenge


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 Africa.

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.

“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”,

Judi Sandrock, one of the co-founders of XinaBox.

PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey, predicts that by 2030, 15% of the world’s working-age population will be in Africa. However, 65% of African CEOs say key workforce skills shortages are preventing them from innovating effectively. This therefore buttresses how important it is for more and more African teenagers to go beyond Africa’s current skill-limitations to shoot her towards potential for global dominance in every field.

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