Boeing and FASESA Graduate 300 Space Program Students in Africa

The first cohort of the Pathways to Space program, an educational initiative organized by the Future African Space Explorers STEM Academy (FASESA) and Boeing [NYSE:BA], celebrated their graduation on July 10, 2024, in Ethiopia.

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

Pascal Chidozi, a 16-year-old graduate from Nigeria, shared his experience: “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 deepened my passion for STEM and opened my eyes to the limitless possibilities in space exploration.

The most memorable moment 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, expressed his enthusiasm: “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 engaged 120 Ethiopian, 112 Nigerian, and 82 Tanzanian students in exploring the fascinating world of space through hands-on activities.

They formed teams, designed mission patches, built prototype satellites, conducted tests, and presented their designs. The program culminated in 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 of 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 plan to expand the Pathways to Space program to other countries in Africa in the coming years.

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 Explorers STEM Academy aims to bring space exploration to the African classroom, addressing barriers to entry due to a lack of access to information and resources.

Boeing, as a leading global aerospace company, develops, manufactures, and services commercial airplanes, defense products, and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries.

By ethionegari@gmail.com

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