RCMRD Space Challenge 2017 engages young people with weather data collection and analysis

Published: Aug 16 2017

The RCMRD Space Challenge 2017 Awards Ceremony was held on July 7, 2017, at the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) in Nairobi, Kenya.

The challenge was in three parts: orientation for teachers, installation of automatic weather stations in select schools, and recording of data on three parameters. Every day, groups of students observed and recorded weather data such as the temperature, wind, and humidity. Each student was expected to record the weather data on their own data sheets. The students were then graded according to the reports submitted (60%) and oral presentations they made (40%).

The seven schools participating in the challenge (represented by 10 students each) were Nyandarua High School, Homa Bay High School, Thome Boys High School, St. Scholastica Catholic Primary School, Nasokol Girls, Moi Forces Academy Lanet, and Moi Forces Academy Nairobi. In addition, two students attended from each of two visiting schools invited by 4-H Kenya: Murema Primary School and Mathare Old Primary School.

RCMRD collaborated with the following partners in this endeavor: Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE), Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO), 4-H Kenya, Kenya Meteorological Department, Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, Kenya Ministry of Education, Kenya Forest Service, DOD, Kenya Space Agency secretariat, Center for Agricultural Networking and Information Sharing - University of Nairobi (CANIS-UON), and ESRI Eastern Africa. The partners participated as judges in the challenge.

Nasokol Girls School, located at Kishaunet in West Pokot County, Kenya, was declared the winner of the 2017 inaugural RCMRD Space Challenge. That team scored 85.3%, followed by St. Scholastica Catholic Primary School in Nairobi with 83% and Moi Forces Academy (Nairobi) in third with 69.6%. All the schools received a certificate of participation. In addition, RCMRD gave the judges a certificate of appreciation.

This RCMRD Space Challenge program will endeavor to showcase to the primary and secondary schools participating in the challenge the importance of data collection as well as the need for analysis and interpretation of the data collected in decision making.  The Space Challenge is part of RCMRD’s strategy to engage young people within its member States.

Dorah Nesoba of SERVIR-E&SA/RCMRD provided content for this article.

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