Women’s space programme launch in South Africa

Are you looking for engineering jobs? Do science careers interest you? If your answer yes to these questions, you may be a candidate for the local space programme. IT jobs also offer exciting career opportunities. To find out more about Women in STEM and the space programme read our informative blog.


What is STEM?

The space programme supports women in selected fields. For people who are wandering ‘what is STEM?’ it is an acronym for the science, technology and mathematic fields that the programme supports. The programme will be drawn to an exciting conclusion when Africa launches its first privately owned satellite later this year.

The Women in STEM Initiative

The Women in STEM initiative is a collaboration between the Meta Economic Development Organization and the Morehead State University. The programme began in 2015. Morehead State University is responsible for SpaceTrek which has seen progress in supporting women entering careers which are considered to be orientated towards men.

South Africa is the first country other than the US which Morehead Space Science Centre has partnered with. Despite competition from Europe and South America our country managed to create partnerships so that the program could be offered to local women.


Due to a lack of employees for STEM roles, MEDO decided to offer this programme to bridge the gap. It is predicted that by 2020 most jobs will be STEM related and these jobs will have a higher pay. The aim of the programme is to equip women with the skills to compete in this job market. Stem education is vital for people who want to succeed.

Including everything from IT jobs to science and engineering jobs, STEM (Science, Technology and Mathematics) encompasses a range of technical, scientific and mathematical fields of study.

The Programme Explained

The programme is made up of three sections. It begins with SpacePrep workshops which take place on Saturday. The students will meet in the Treppie truck for 4 hours every week. The Treppie truck is a mobile lab which can accommodate 16 students. It is equipped with a smart TV as well as internet access.

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Students started studying in the Treppie truck during June 2016 and since then over 120 young women have benefited from this education. During the sessions high school students gathered to learn about electro magnets and mini robot building. SpacePrep is committed to teaching 600 students every year. The next step was the workshop that took place during January.

Fourteen young women were privileged to be selected for this event. They learnt skills that would support them in finding telecommunication jobs and analyst jobs. Other topics that were covered include satellite-construction and calibration.

The programme equipped the young women with the skills that they need to build a payload for a satellite. During the workshop the participants constructed the CricketSat. During the third phase the MEDOsat1 will be launched in the US. For women who want to pursue careers in science this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop skills and gain experience.

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Once the satellite has been launched all the students that were involved in the various stages of the program can continue participating. The students can communicate with the satellite and gather data which will further develop their skills. The Women in STEM aims to run for 4 years and each year a satellite will be launched.

It is vital to develop skills in STEM as there has been a decrease in students who are choosing these subjects in school. There is a great need for skilled professionals to apply for Biotechnology jobs and Information technology jobs. To compete on a global level South Africa has to ensure that STEM positions are being filled by competent professionals thus requiring that careers in science, technology and mathematics are promoted and accessible.


Whether it’s IT jobs or engineering jobs that you want to pursue, the Women in STEM programme is an incredible opportunity to get a great start to your career. Already qualified? Register your CV on Job Mail now and apply for employment opportunities that match your skillset.


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