NASRDA catches them young for space
The National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA) recently ended a three-day induction programme for its three young Space Ambassadors for 2017: Daniel Gashinbaki, Primary School Category; Juanita Nkobi-Smah, Junior Secondary School Category and Salmah Ahmad Matane, Senior Secondary School Category.
Held at the Obasanjo Space Centre,Abuja which doubles as the Agency’s headquarters, they were taught what was expected of them as Space Ambassadors and taken on a guided tour of the facilities at the Centre by experts in different fields of Space Technology.
The Space Ambassador Scheme was initiated by the DG, Professor Saidu Mohammed to rouse interest in young Nigerians towards Science and Mathematics and ultimately a possible career in Space Science and Technology.
Speaking at the end of the induction programme, Prof Mohammed said the Agency has through its Activity Centre in Ife promoted interest in Space Science by establishing Space clubs in both Primary and Secondary Schools.
He called on the Ambassadors to pursue their dreams, acquire knowledge and show a keen interest in Space Science and Technology for the advancement of mankind. He said being chosen as Space Ambassadors is a rare opportunity which they should use wisely, as they represent a new generation of young persons to make Nigeria a proud Nation by striving to achieve the noble dream of Space Science and Technology in Nigeria. He was optimisticthat their emergence as space ambassadors will deepen further Space Science in Nigeria.
The Director-General encouraged the Ambassadors to be good role models to other students in the country and vigorously carry out the campaign for Space Science and Technology to help promote and sustain interest in Space Science and Technology in their schools and by extension in Nigeria. This he said would attest to the Agency’s policy for Space Science and Technology in schools and Nigeria.
According to him, Space Agency is a major strength of any country, and Nigeria has invested hugely in space technology, which has positioned the country at the forefront of space technology in Africa.
The Ambassadors were selected through a rigorous competitive process. They first participated in an essay competition where about 700 entries was received for each Category across the country out of which the best five were invited to Abuja from each category.
The next stage included a written examination, technical ability test, cognitive test and technical presentation from where the best for each category emerged as the Ambassador. They were inaugurated on May 27, 2017 for two-year tenure. The DG explained that every Ambassador is inducted into NASRDA Hall of Fame at the end of his/her tenure.
“The dream is to provide follow up and mentorship while in office and expose the Ambassadors to Space Science and Technology both locally and internationally,” he added.
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