This event is designed to fit a global platform for students to learn and compete in space science and astronomy with the aim of raising awareness and also promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in Sierra Leone. This event will empower students and young professionals with the knowledge and experience they need to get acquainted with the design, development, and analysis phase of space systems and STEM programs for sustainable development.
It will create a ‘Space Community’ in Sierra Leone by connecting students and young professionals in the space arena, thus bringing attention to the political, academic, and business class of the importance of space science and astronomy and the role it will play in the coming future. The competition will capture pupils and Students in Sierra Leone focusing on Primary and high school in the STEM field plus Overseas guests (experts, space agencies, industry) via virtual talks.
STEAD, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Developments is a student-based organization dedicated to increasing space science, innovation and technology in Sierra Leone and the African continent by developing an enabling environment for the advancement of Space Education, Astronomy and other fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and
Mathematics. STEAD is a registered nonprofit organization with a membership of over 100 talented students which spans the faculties of Engineering and Pure and Applied Sciences, with the aim of solving societal problems through innovation using engineering and scientific methods. This organization has got recognition from the University of Sierra Leone (Fourah Bay College), Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers, the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO) International Astronomical Union (IAU). The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) is a joint project of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), under the auspices of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan. The office is based in Tokyo, at the NAOJ Mitaka Campus. The mission of the OAO is to engage the public in astronomy through access to astronomical information and communication of the science of astronomy. This is implemented through a network of IAU National Outreach Coordinators (NOCs) and the IAU’s engagement
initiatives with the public, encouraging active communication of science through IAU member public engagement, professional-amateur, and citizen science activities.
The Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) in support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications is a non-governmental organization and professional network which "aims to bring the views of students and young space professionals to the United Nations (UN), space industry and other organizations". he guiding vision of SGAC is “to employ the creativity and
the vigor of young generations in advancing humanity through the peaceful uses of outer space.”
Furthermore, the organization states that it believes that the voice of students and young professionals should be heard in the creation of international space policy. As those who will be becoming the key policymakers, providers, and users of space, we believe that it is imperative that their opinion is taken into account. The primary goal of SGAC is “to provide access to our
members to inject their thoughts, views, and opinions on the direction of international space policy.”
This event is designed to fit a global platform for students to compete in space science and astronomy with the aim of raising awareness in Space Science and Astronomy and also promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in Sierra Leone. This event will empower students and young professionals with the knowledge and experience they need to get acquainted with the design, development, and analysis phase of space systems and STEM programs for sustainable development. It will create a ‘Space Community’ in Sierra Leone by connecting students and young professionals in the space arena, thus bringing attention to the political, academic, and business class of the importance of space science and astronomy and the role it will play in the coming future. The competition will capture pupils and Students in Sierra Leone focusing on a high school in the STEM field plus Overseas guests (experts, space agencies, industry) via virtual talks. This project will link Sierra Leone with other African space nations and the rest of the world which will allow showcasing space products and services. Our aim is to help enable students and research communities across Sierra Leone to participate in the scientific impact, engage in the technological advances of what has been called the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), and benefit from all of the exciting opportunities that will be arising from it in Africa. 4IR is the ongoing automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices using modern smart technology such as cognitive computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and the internet of things (IoT). There will be side activities to boost networking opportunities, including social events and stargazing events after the competition where students will have the opportunity to view the dark skies using our telescopes and binoculars.
This project aims not just at promoting space science and astronomy in the country, but also to make attract more students towards the STEM field and impacting the future generation. The set of objectives proposed include:
· Inspire the youths and encourage women's participation in building the future of the country space sector and STEM field.
· Identify major challenges in implementing space programs in Africa and devise mechanism to address these;
· Provide a global platform for students and young professionals to compete with the aim of raising awareness in Space Science and Astronomy and also promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in Sierra Leone.
· To strengthen the Sierra Leonean network of students and young professionals and boost their long-term talent development.
· Bringing attention to the political, academic, and business class of the importance of space science and astronomy and the role it will play in the coming future.
· Stimulate space commerce and entrepreneurship to meet SDGs, GDP growth, and ensuring the sustainability of the space industry in the country.
· Encourage regional and intra-Africa cooperation in space science and technology.
Why should you donate?
Support students in Sierra Leone to participate in this event where there will be prizes for participants with the best performance on Space Science and Astronomy. Participants selected represent the best of Sierra Leone and thus you will be supporting the development of the leaders of the African space workforce.
Space science and technology can play a leading role in the development of nations as well, with examples such as telemedicine, telecommunications access to remote areas, food security, and disaster management all playing an important role in reducing poverty and combating many social issues. Thus, your donation would be supporting the future of Africa as well.
STEAD is a well-known, reliable student-based organization in Sierra Leone that has successfully organized numerous events in Sierra Leone https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kxlOe1W_J_hjodub84tMfGQ1-OFqUqx-/view?usp=drive_web . National events rely heavily on national and regional sponsorship, and in Africa, this presents a challenge because of the general lack of funding for space initiatives.
Kindly check this link for the event on the SGAC Webpage https://spacegeneration.org/event/space-science-and-astronomy-competition .
What will your donation be used for?
Your donation will help make the event more affordable for students from all over Sierra Leone to participate by printing the space handbook as we understand that space science and astronomy may not be part of their curriculum.
We will also utilize part of the donation to rent the venue and purchase prizes for students that will emerge as winners and encourage others to pursue these fields at a higher level. The proposed prizes are some computer laptops for the two winners and some mathematics and physics books for participating students as a way of encouraging them to pay more attention to these fields.
If we are able to exceed our funding goal, any surplus donations will be put towards feeding other delegates on one or both days of the event, thereby aiding further in affordability and ensuring that our delegates do not have to struggle to source their own feeding during the event. We need your help to get the rest! In addition, we need to feed these students as well as the experts who donate their time to come to speak and teach at the event. This will allow our delegates further opportunities to interact with each other and learn from each other, strengthening the bonds that we hope to foster between the future space leaders in Sierra Leone and the African continent. A breakdown of how the donations will be utilized:
1. $300 for renting the venue and sound system for the two days.
2. $500 prizes for participants ( basic computer, Scientific calculators and some science and astronomy books)
3. $500 for light refreshments for the two days ( Food and drinks)
4. $150 for the printing of handbooks, T-shirts, flyers, and certificates for participants.
5. $50 Miscellaneous and other eventualities.
For corporate sponsorship or further inquiry please contact:
Event Manager: Alimamy Conteh ([email redacted] /[email redacted])
- Aminata Kondeh
- Evan Plant-Weir
- Moses Bangura
- Sahr Lebbie
Organizer and beneficiary
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