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Africa is planning on launching its first private satellite into outer space in May of 2017. Even more astounding, most of the satellite is being built by 14 South African teenage girls who participated in a high school science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) bootcamp! The students are being trained by satellite engineers from Cape Peninsula University of Technology. South Africa’s Meta Economic Development Organization (MEDO) purchased the satellite. The satellite payload designed by these young ladies will orbit the Earth and scan the surface of Africa to gather data to improve food security in the region.
Thermal images and data gathered from the satellite will predict where droughts and floods may occur in Africa in the future. In a CNN interview Sesam Mngqengqiswa, from Philippi High School stated, “in South Africa we have experienced some of the worst floods and droughts and it has really affected the farmers very badly.” Seseam and a few of her fellow teammates dream of exploring outer space for themselves. Brittany Bull from Pelican Park High School stated, “I want to show to fellow girls that we don’t need to sit around or limit ourselves. Any career is possible- even aerospace.” IAWA is proud to support these teenage ladies and all youth blazing their own trails! Read more here.