South African Space STEM Program
In a world where technological advancement and innovation are paramount, the need for robust and forward-thinking STEM education is more critical than ever. The MaxIQ Space STEM program, specifically tailored for South African high schools, addresses this need head-on.
By integrating advanced space science and technology into the curriculum, the program not only enriches the educational experience but also prepares students for the challenges and opportunities of the future.
MaxIQ Space and WESGRO are collaborating to deliver this programme in a sustainable fashion from 2024.
An application to participate will be issued in early January 2024, with only 15 schools being accepted into the program for the first year. If you would like your school to participate in the global program, please look at these class kits and the support the MaxIQ Space team provides.
The full programme covers three missions:
Mission 1 – Our Planet Earth
In Mission 1, we study our planet in the context of our solar system. It’s at this early stage that we engage and train educators, distribute our Space STEM kits, and take everyone through an exciting programme of learning and experimentation.
Every topic relates to at least one UN Sustainable Development Goal, with learning material, experiments, challenges, and research projects provided.
Mission 1 covers foundational knowledge, as in missions 2 and 3, we look at 4IR methods of ensuring sustainability in space, including breathable air, drinkable water, and edible food. These applications require focus on coding and robotics.
Global UN Challenges – individual students and groups are encouraged to participate in the annual MaxIQ Space challenges, linking space and sustainable development goals.
Mission 2 – Our Atmosphere
During Mission 2, we expand on what we’ve learned in Mission 1, and analyse our atmosphere by conducting various projects:
- High altitude balloon launch – each group designs, build, tests, and launches a weather station on a high altitude balloon mission. Data is collected from ground level to over 10km in altitude.
- TinyGS Satellite Communications – each schools builds and commissions a TinyGS ground station, to downlink satellite data and contribute this to the global education and research community. This project relates well to the deep space network ground station being built in the Karoo.
- 3D Smart Rocket project – groups design and 3D print their own model rockets, and using their MaxIQ chips from Mission 1, collect data to monitor and optimise their rocket flights.
Mission 2 prepares the groups for future space missions.
Mission 3 – In Space
In Mission 3, teams build on Missions 1 and 2 to develop a payload to be hosted on the International Space Station (ISS) for at least 4 weeks. In partnership with Princeton University, the South African schools will be joining schools from across the world on this mission:
- ISS kit – each school will receive a space-grade kit from which to develop their payload. These payloads will be shipped to MaxIQ Space and Princeton for integration.
- ISS workshops – Zoom workshops will take place at regular intervals before the payloads are shipped for integration.
- Ride-share mission – the full payload cluster will be launched with Nanoracks on a SpaceX resupply mission to the ISS. All payloads will be returned for analysis.
- Post ISS mission workshops will take everyone through how to analyse their data and present results to their stakeholders.
Please see this page that outlines the commitments necessary from both MaxIQ Space and participating schools.
The budget for each participating school is ZAR 250 000.00, and schools will need to assist with raising the funds for their participation. Wesgro has relationships with impact investors, those schools that would qualify for a grant will be asked to assist in building the "call to action" presentation.
To apply for the programme, please go to this link.
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