Institute of Space Technology (IST), Islamabad inaugurated the first Space Summer school of Pakistan under the theme of Space Technology Education and Popularization (STEP) on July 17, 2017. IST is hosting about 300 students of more than 75 schools and colleges of Pakistan in this summer school. Space Summer School (SSS) is a week-long, activity based learning covering more than 50 interactive sessions in 10 exploration tracks for students in two levels as abecedarian and virtuoso. In addition to lectures, Space Summer School will have a canvas of space themed activities, hands on workshops, simulations, demonstrations, laboratory visits, seminars, webinars, career counseling sessions, competitions, social events, themed dinner and astronomy night.
The inaugural ceremony was hosted by the curator of Space Summer School, Mr. Danial Amin. Dr. Najam Abbas, Deputy Director Student Affairs and Program Manager SSS welcomed the participants and outlined the theme of Space Summer School under the initiative of Space Technology Education and Popularization. He also emphasized on the importance of Space Technology for Pakistan and declared Space Summer School as a significant milestone towards Pakistan Space program. The chief guest of the ceremony, Prof. Dr. M. Ashraf Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation applauded the initiative of Institute of Space Technology for creating awareness about space technology among the youth and educating the students about the benefits of space technology. Dr. Ashraf praised the efforts of IST for Space Technology education and popularization. Engr. Imran Rahman, Vice Chancellor IST also graced the event with his eminent presence.
IST has a legacy of arranging International and National events for creating awareness among the general public related to Space Technology. IST has the heritage of celebrating World Space Week for last 12 years and is ranked first for organizing maximum number of events in Pakistan for year 2016 by International World Space Week Association (WASA). Following the legacy of past and fulfilling the mantra of Space Awareness, Institute of Space Technology has planned the first Space Summer School from July 17-22, 2017. Space Summer School is first of its kind in Pakistan and aiming to equip students from grade 5th to 12th with adequate Space Science and Technology knowledge, awareness, future and careers.
Space Summer School will cover the ten exploration tracks namely the Earth, Atmosphere, Aviation, Rocketry, Satellite Technology, Space Travel, Space for Life, Space Agencies, Astronomy and Astrophysics and our contributions. It will host a special webinar with Europe Space Agency Astronaut, Dr. Gerhard Thiele about the exquisiteness and challenges of Space Travel. Another webinar on Navigating with Space Technology by United Nation fellow, Gabriella Povero will motivate the children about the applications of Space Technology in our daily life. IST will launch the first Dr. Abdus Salam Space Contest during this summer school in order to gauge the level of space learning of students. It will be a paper based test on the ten exploration tracks of SSS and has been designed according to international standards. Space Spellathon, Space creative writing and Space Arts competitions will also be arranged to enhance the learning and vision of students. Space Summer School participants will be provided an opportunity to explore Planetarium, Aircraft Technology, CanSat Satellite development, Quad- copter Design and Fabrication along with Astrolabe and Telescopy. Solar Observations and star gazing will be the other highlights of the Space Summer School.