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Intelsat brings space STEM to students in Africa

25 November 2020 News

Intelsat is partnering with XinaBox to deliver space-focused science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning tools to teenagers across the African continent.

Intelsat is sponsoring scholarships, each worth hundreds of dollars, for 20 students in Africa to access XinaBox’s dedicated space STEM kits and educational programmes, which culminate in students designing, building and launching satellites into space.

“Building the pipeline of the next generation of satellite engineers begins with our partnership with XinaBox,” said Christell Meyers, Intelsat’s sales director in Africa. “Sparking that tech interest at such a young age inspires future leaders who will soon lead the way with advancements we never dreamed possible.”


Students using XinaBox STEM-learning resources.

XinaBox (pronounced “X in a box”) removes barriers to participation in the growing STEM academic field and economy. Its XinaBox kits provide a rapid hardware development platform specifically designed and manufactured for STEM applications in schools and universities. Using commercial, standard electronic components, students are able to design and build circuits, code using multiple formats and conduct experiments, without specialist equipment or laboratory access.

Through building, experimenting, and creating working electronic devices, crafters, students and tinkerers learn critical STEM skills, including coding, electronics, data gathering and analysis, control, and all the principles of the Internet of Things (IoT), while engaging with the sensory environment around them. This approach bridges the virtual worlds of software, the cloud, and big data, with students’ real-world surroundings.

“When the Intelsat team suggested supporting African students on our flagship programme, we were excited and inspired. Our primary goal is to give access to space for all,” noted Judi Sandrock, one of the co-founders of XinaBox. “Intelsat’s values and ours are totally aligned, with the students and their futures at the core. Intelsat’s support will allow the XinaBox Space STEM programme to accelerate as we move into 2021.”

Intelsat is sponsoring twenty XinaBox Space STEM programme scholarships, with successful candidates meeting the following criteria:

• Between 15 and 18 years of age.

• Born and currently living on the African continent.

• Demonstrates a passion for, and knowledge of, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

• Has a clear interest in all things ‘space’.

• Access to the Internet, and a smart device for virtual workshops, i.e., can run a browser-based collaboration tool (camera not essential).

• Internet browser skills.

• Proficiency in English (the first programme will be delivered in English).

Students with an interest in the scholarship who meet these criteria are encouraged to apply before the deadline of 30 November 2020 at 5 pm South African time. The application process requires completing an online form, a space quiz and submitting a short explanation building the case for why you should be selected for this unique programme.

The application materials can be accessed via the short URL www.dataweek.co.za/*nov20-intelsat




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