Boeing and FASES Graduate First Cohorts of Pathways to Space Program in Africa


The first cohort of the Pathways to Space program, a new educational initiative arranged by the Future African Space Explorers STEM Academy (FASESA) and Boeing, celebrated their graduation on July 10, 2024, in Ethiopia.

After 5 months of immersive learning, 312 students, including 50% girls, from 63 schools in Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Tanzania have developed a keen interest in the space industry, shaping their career aspirations.

Pascal Chidozi, a 16-year-old graduate of the program in Nigeria, said: “Participating in the Pathways to Space program has been a life-changing experience for me. Building payloads, testing them, and learning about satellite operations has not only deepened my passion for STEM but has also opened my eyes to the limitless possibilities in space exploration. The most memorable moment for me was launching a high-altitude balloon, which provided me with a hands-on understanding of the principles of flight. This program has inspired me to pursue a career in aerospace engineering, equipping me with the confidence and knowledge to chase my dreams.”

Kuljit Ghata-Aura, President of Boeing Middle East, Türkiye, Africa, and Central Asia, said: “Right on the heels of the Boeing Starliner mission to the International Space Station, we are delighted to inspire more young people into the aerospace industry. We are looking forward to the innovative contributions the graduates of the Pathways to Space program will make, shaping the future of space exploration in the decades to come.”

The Pathways to Space Program helped 120 Ethiopian, 112 Nigerian and 82 Tanzanian students to explore the fascinating world of space through hands-on activities. They formed teams, designed a mission patch, built a prototype satellite, conducted tests, and presented their designs.

The program culminated in the satellite prototype testing day, where students tested their prototypes in real-world conditions. This comprehensive experience developed their engineering skills, passion for space exploration, and prepared them for future education and careers.

“We are incredibly proud of the students’ accomplishments. Their dedication and enthusiasm for STEM and space exploration are truly inspiring,” said Sean Jacobs, founder and executive director at FASESA. “The graduation ceremony not only celebrates their hard work during the program but also marks the beginning of their journey as future leaders in the space industry or more broadly in science and technology.”

FASESA and Boeing have set their sights on expanding the Pathways to Space program to other countries in Africa in the years to come. Starting next year, the program will offer both in-person and online participation, creating opportunities for more students across the African continent.

The Future African Space Explorer’s STEM Academy is a young and growing initiative with the aim of bringing space exploration to the African classroom, wherein most learners have barriers of entry to the vocation due to a lack of access to information and resources.

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