She Space, a first-of-its-kind educational space science project for the development of satellite imaging research applications! The She Space program was built to inspire young girls to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. The basic premise of the program is that exposure to advanced scientific disciplines, especially in an active research context, encourages young women to continue studying science throughout their educational careers. She Space uses exposure to remote sensing to push high school-age girls outside of their comfort zones and help them learn about STEM subjects without preconceptions and existing stereotypes.
The project began in its first year (2018) with the concept "women and space" and included groups of high school-age female students from southern Israel. This collaborative effort between the Earth and Planetary Image Facility at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and Beit Yatziv, was funded with the initiative and assistance of the Israeli Space Agency within the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology.
The Venus research satellite, which is the result of a collaborative effort between the French and Israeli Space Agencies, launched successfully in August 2017. Satellite image analysis is a central part of information gathering in remote sensing. With the development of new sensors, it is also necessary to develop specifically tailored image processing methods that are uniquely suited to the properties of the sensor. With the successful launch and the excitement and expectation of the first images from Venus, the first year of She Space presented a unique opportunity to combine groundbreaking research with state-of-the-art remote sensing application(s) development. This singular combination of exposure to the Israeli space industry and development of advanced research at the academic level, provided a very fertile environment for the personal growth and empowerment of participants in the first year of the She Space program. In particular, the program specifically emphasized the contributions of women scientists and researchers in space science.
This year (2019), She Space has gone international and it has been a resounding success! The addition of the international component of the program added several key elements: 1) students had to interact in English, which added an element of language exposure and challenge; 2) students learned about scientific communication, and 3) each group acted as ambassadors for their respective countries and for the space agencies of those countries.
The 33 students who participated this year came from four countries: Israel, Germany, the United States, and Brazil. Students contributed to individual research projects using satellites launched by their countries: Venµs Satellite (Israel), Sentinel-2 (Germany), LandSat-8 (U.S.), and a new China-Brazil joint research satellite venture (Brazil). Each group studied a research question related to environmental issues in their native countries. The students in each group then had to work together to produce final, group presentations combining the results of their individual projects. Participants used advanced scientific research instruments, computer programs, and techniques that are all actively in use at the labs and organizations that helped to run the program.
Project participants actively experienced what it is to be a researcher and doing scientific work using real, advanced research techniques by working with advanced global research laboratories including, the Earth and Planetary Image Facility (EPIF) at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the DLR School Lab Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany, the Aerosol Laboratory at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas and the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco Brazil.
She Space International 2019 report.pdf
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