African students learn about sustainable development issues through UN-backed project

17 July 2002

An international team of scientists, teachers and graduate students have been travelling throughout Africa as part of a United Nations-sponsored project designed to expose the continent’s children to science and technology.

“Under African Skies 2002,” a collaboration between the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) and Cosmos Education, has been on the road since 22 June, travelling to over 50 schools in five southern and eastern African countries and motivating the students to define the role of science and technology in the future of sustainable development.

“Our goal is to inspire the next generation of scientist, engineers, doctors, and leaders here in Africa,” said team member Benjamin Moalusi. “The future is in our hands and we need to empower the youth and let them know they can make a difference to the world around them.”

The team, comprised of more than 20 people from 10 countries, aims to accomplish its task by teaching a curriculum ranging from health and the environment to physics and electronics, with an emphasis on hands-on learning and experiments using familiar objects and materials.

Prior to launching the five-week-long expedition, the project held a conference on improving science and technology education in developing countries. The event, held at the UN Environment Programme’s Nairobi headquarters, brought together more than 400 secondary school and university students under the theme, “Science and Sustainability – Applying Appropriate Solutions for a Global Society.”


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