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South African Girls To Help Build Africa’s First Privately Owned Satellite

A group of school girls spent their Youth Day working to achieve their goal of becoming the next generation of scientists.

The group of 150 girls worked together to build small rovers and coded the machines to draw.

Adriana Marais, who has applied to be one of the first humans to live and work on Mars in 2026, was impressed with the innovative ideas.

Marais said, “I think it’s fantastic that I heard that some of the designs of these satellites were looking towards agriculture, food security, so these are young girls who are thinking about local problems and using their skills and knowledge in science and engineering to think about solving these problems.”

Marais is one of only two women from the continent in the top 100 for the Mars One Project.

She emphasised that more women are needed in scientific fields.

Marais said, “currently I believe the statistics are that seven percent of science researchers and engineers on the African continent are women – this is a tragedy. That means we are losing out on nearly  50 percent of possible skills that could be used.”

Aspiring aerospace engineer, Brittany Bell agreed, “there’s supposed to be gender equality, your gender shouldn’t be the deciding factor about what career path you should follow.”

More workshops will follow, building on what the pupils have learnt.

Next year, the most promising participants will help build Africa’s first privately owned satellite



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