How can satellite technology help expand Africa's horizons into the future? This is what the 2012 DStv Eutelsat Star Awards want to know from African students.
For the second consecutive year, the awards, which is a product of the partnership between Eutelsat and MultiChoice Africa, aim to inspire innovative thinking among secondary and high-school students, to create awareness on how science and technology can be applied to everyday life, and to showcase the many ways that satellites already impact on the development of the African continent.
Propelling Africa into the future
The awards take the form of a competition open to 14-19 year-old students in 42 countries. Students are invited to write an essay or design a poster depicting how innovative use of satellite technology in the fields of communication, earth observation or navigation can propel Africa into the future.
Winners at national levels win prizes such as computers or tablet computers and go forward to compete in the overall awards as winner or runner up overall essay and poster entries respectively. The winning essay recipient will win a trip with parent or guardian to Eutelsat in Paris, France and to witness a live rocket launch.
The best poster winner and a parent or guardian will also win a visit to Eutelsat in France and to a satellite manufacturing facility. The overall runners-up win a trip for two to visit MultiChoice facilities and the South African Space Agency near Johannesburg, South Africa.
The schools attended by the overall award winners and runners-up will also be rewarded with a DStv installation, including dish, television, state-of-the-art PVR decoder and free access to the DStv Education Bouquet.
To enter, students need to pick up copies of the entry form and rules at their nearest MultiChoice office or download a copy at www.dstvstarawards.com. Entries for the awards close on 8 October 2012.
Contributing towards the growth of science and technology in Africa
Commenting on MultiChoice Africa's involvement in the awards, MultiChoice company president Nico Meyer stated that technology-based companies operating in Africa face growing concern that Africa is not producing sufficient graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These fields are a prerequisite for sustained economic growth and is thus of strategic importance to the Continent.
"For MultiChoice, as an African business, the situation is particularly pertinent as we need to draw on employees with knowledge and skills in these fields. The awards therefore represent our commitment as a company to contribute towards the growth of Science & Technology in Africa" he said.
Michel de Rosen, CEO of Eutelsat Communications, added that the first edition of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards was a resounding success, attracting over 800 entries from across Africa.
He stated that Eutelsat was delighted to again partner in the 2012 awards with the shared objective of harnessing the allure of space to get young Africans excited about science and technology.
"The 2011 winners, Mary Musimire and Michael Yeboah, who both visited us in Paris impressed us with the quality of their work and we look forward to again showcase emerging new talent in the 2012 awards" he said.
In order to support students to produce quality entries, MultiChoice and Eutelsat have also produced a resource booklet on how satellites work and the application of satellite technology in everyday life.
The booklet also contains some guidelines for students on preparing their entries. Copies are available from MultiChoice offices or on the Star Awards website.
Two 26-minute programmes, produced by Eutelsat, on the conquest of space and how satellite applications impact directly or indirectly on everyday lives, will also be broadcast on DStv.
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