2018 Girls Astronomers Camp

This event held on 28 April 2018 at Obasanjo Space Center Abuja. This event was planned and organized by Astronomers Without Borders. 2018 Girls Astronomers Camp served as a maiden camp for young girls to learn about Astronomy in Nigeria. The camp program was packed with Fun and Educative activities.

The Girls camp is an OAD/IAU (Office of Astronomy for Development)/(International Astronomical Union) initiative, funded and supported by Astronomers Without Borders International (AWB), Universe Awareness (UNAWE), VIXEN Co. Ltd, National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), Milan, Italy, National Space Research & Development Agency (NASRDA). The camp aims to address the challenge of gender lopsidedness in the school enrollment focusing on the female gender in other to bridge the gap that exists between male and female children enrollment particularly across the northern part of Nigeria. Also, to encourage and motivate the girl-child in STEM education. We aim to reach thousands of school girls as we carry out these Astronomy camps in the different states across Nigeria.

The camp started by 12pm on 28 April 2018 with Registration and Red Carpet/interview sessions with the girls and accompanying guests. The National Coordinator of AWB Nigeria, Mrs. Olayinka Fagbemiro delivered a Welcome/Introductory address afterwards. Dr. Francis Chizea who represented the Director General of NASRDA gave a remark highlighting the importance of the event. The event moved on in earnest with Career Talk, Engr. Yewande Adeyeye spoke on the ‘History of Women in Space Science & Technology.’ Tea Break & Solar Glasses session followed afterwards. The Girls were excited that they could look at the Sun without getting hurt. The Editorial Chairman of ThisDay Newspaper, Mr. Segun Adeniyi, gave the girls a moral charge with his speech centered on the subject of ‘Cheating- Exam Malpractices.’ The next agenda of the camp was a STEM Quiz which comprised of 20 objective questions spread across Astronomy, Mathematics, Science and Physics. The top 3 candidates were:

  1. Kabir Ummulkhair Hassan (Airforce Girls Comprehensive School Abuja)- 1st Position
  2. Aki Jessica (Community Secondary School Asokoro)- 2nd Position
  3. Firdaus Audu (Voyage International School), Johnson Damilola (GSS Gwagwalada), Mbu Rosaparks (Blooms Academy)- 3rd Position

After the Quiz, the girls had lunch and Pep talk while eating. The Chairperson of e-Worldwide Limited, Dr. Salma Abbasi delivered the talk. She is a Technologist, Philanthropist and Social activist with over 30 years experience working in the field of technology and business, holding a variety of senior Executive positions in Fortune 500 companies. The subject of her talk was the importance of STEM. She encouraged the girls to develop interest in STEM courses and emphasized on the importance of their involvement in Science & Technology.

Hands on Activities followed the Pep Talk. There was a variety of activities in this session. The girls were put into different group to build a prototype of a Communication Satellite, Tinkering (using DC motors and Markers), Universe in a Box, Coupling a Galileoscope, Solar system modelling and the youngest girls made Paper Satellites. The session was very engaging as the Girls learnt something interesting.

Afterwards, the girls watched a movie called ‘Hidden Figures’ which depicted Girls involvement in STEM and Astronomy. Star gazing session & Barbecue ended the activities for the day. They had the opportunity to look at Venus and the Moon as they were the brightest on our horizon.

We at AWBNigeria would like to use this opportunity to thank all our Sponsors and Contributors for making this dream a reality. We remain committed to spreading Astronomy throughout Nigeria. One People, One Sky.

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INAF interviews the National Coordinator AWB Nigeria

The National Institute for Astrophysics, Italy interviewed our ebullient National Coordinator, Mrs. Olayinka Fagbemiro. The interview centered on the level of awareness of Astronomy in Nigeria with particular reference to Rural communities and the myths peddled on the subject matter. In the interview, she also spoke about the activities of Astronomers Without Borders Nigeria and what we aim to achieve.

You can bring STEM Education to young girls in Nigeria. Astronomers Without Borders seeks your support for our BIG (Big Impact Giving) micro-crowdfunding campaign to raise $577 to provide 5 Telescopes for an Astronomy camp specifically for girls.

https://www.classy.org/campaign/astronomy-girls-camp-nigeria/c176551

Unveiling the Telescope donated by Vixen Co., Ltd Japan

The team was delighted to unveil and test the Telescope donated to AWB Nigeria by Vixen Co., Ltd Japan on Wednesday April 4, 2018. Vixen Co., Ltd has manufactured the most respected line of Telescopes and mounts in Japan since 1949, where it is the number one selling brand. Vixen’s philosophy is to bring happiness to the users of Vixen’s products and they definitely brought happiness to the AWB team and all the students that will have the opportunity to use the Telescope in the near future.

The team was fixated on the user manual and fixed the Telescope in no time. The Telescope will be a great asset for the team and also a driver for the goals of the team. The Team is committed to helping others develop a passion for Astronomy and Space Science and this Telescope will be an invaluable tool for our outreaches and programs.

We want to use this post to thank Vixen Co., Ltd for this gift. We thank them for their commitment to helping others develop a passion for the wonders of the night Sky and the joys of Terrestrial observation. This gift has the potential to have a domino effect of their drive, goals and commitment for Astronomy in Nigeria. Thank you Vixen Co., Ltd.

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Space Education: Banky’s Private School

Pupils of Banky’s Private School Apo visited the campus of National Space Research & Development Agency (NASRDA) on Wednesday 28 March, 2018. Engr. Bashir Yusuf and Engr. Adams Maikarfi were in charge of the lecture sessions. The pupils had the opportunity to understand the basics of Space Science and Astronomy. They received lectures on the planets of the solar system, Gravity, Weightlessness and conditions in Space, The International Space Station, Satellites and so many more.

Banky’s Private school pupils
Engr. Bashir with the pupils
Engr. Bashir with the pupils
Banky’s Private school pupils

Blooms Academy’s visit to NASRDA HQ

Blooms Academy, Sun City, Abuja paid a visit to the National Space Research & Development Agency (NASRDA) Headquarters on Monday, March 26, 2018. They came to learn about the agency’s activities, astronomy, Space Science & Technology and they came with a lot of enthusiasm and intelligent questions.

Engr. Henry Ogu took the introductory session and the first lecture session. The lecture session aimed at teaching the students about the conditions in Outer Space, Gravity, Weightlessness, Satellites and Astronomy. They also learnt about the satellites that NASRDA has launched, their functions/capabilities and their major parts. A question and answer session ended the lecture. The students asked highly technical and intelligent questions and they showed great interest in Astronomy. They were encouraged to follow up on STEM related courses.

The Director of Engineering & Space Systems, Dr. Agboola and Engr. Bashir Yusuf took the last session. They lectured the students on Rockets, Nigeria Sat-1 (Earth Observatory Satellite) and entertained their questions.

The School was invited for the Young Astronomers camp coming up next month in the NASRDA HQ.

Engr. Henry taking the first lecture session
Engr. Henry taking the first lecture session
Engr. Henry taking the first lecture session
Engr. Henry taking the first lecture session
Engr. Henry taking the first lecture session
Engr. Henry taking the first lecture session
Engr. Henry taking the first lecture session
Engr. Henry taking the first lecture session
Engr. Henry taking the first lecture session
Engr. Bashir taking the second lecture session
Engr. Bashir taking the second lecture session
Engr. Bashir taking the second lecture session
Second lecture session
Dr. Agboola and Head Teacher Mr. Onah
Dr. Agboola and Head Teacher Mr. Onah
Dr. Agboola & Engr. Bashir giving their lecture
Group Photograph with the students from Blooms Academy
Group Photograph with the students from Blooms Academy

St. Virgo & Lumen Christi Academy visit to NASRDA HQ.

St. Virgo & Lumen Christi Science Academy from Mararaba, a conurbation town on the outskirts of the Federal Capital Territory, visited the Headquarters of the National Space Research & Development Agency on March 2, 2018. Both institutions have primary school pupils and secondary school students that were represented at the excursion. They took a tour of the NASRDA campus and had a presentation delivered to them on Space Science & technology and NASRDA’s exploits as a major driver of Space Science & Technology in Africa. They had the opportunity to see the models of Nigeria Sat-1 and NigComSat-1 satellites that were launched by NASRDA in 2003 and 2007 respectively. They received explanations on Rocketry and propulsion engines as well. Question and answer sessions ended their tour of NASRDA.

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