Space STEM Programs

The MaxIQ Space STEM programs are built on the following fundamentals:

  • Building young scientists and preparing youngsters for their futures in Industry 4.0
  • Giving access to all
  • Affordable, scalable, digital and leading to coding of experiments within minutes
  • No requirement for a lab, or any technical equipment (e.g. no soldering required to build electronics)

Track Record

The MaxIQ team has been implementing school and university programmes since 2016, and MaxIQ has expanded delivery globally:

  • CubeSat Developers Workshops CalPoly – practical workshops for educators since 2018
  • Old Dominion University SmallSat Systems Engineering postgraduate course since 2018
  • Princeton Mechanical Engineering undergraduate satellite development course since 2018
  • Georgia Tech postgraduate course (GTRI) since 2019
  • NASA Ames and Stanford University undergraduate systems engineering since 2020
  • University Southern Maine aerospace engineering undergraduate courses since 2020

Recognition

  • 2016 – World Economic Forum for Africa, programme having the most impact on youth education and gender equality in Africa
  • 2017 – CNN – one of two most innovative social projects in Africa
  • 2017 – selected as official STEM programme for the South African National Space Agency
  • 2018 – selected as the official STEM programme for the State of Virginia, USA
  • 2019 – selected as the STEM programme of choice by USA Cobb County, Georgia
  • 2019 – BBC Africa most innovative youth technology initiative from Africa
  • 2020 – selected as the partner of choice for space education challenges by the USA Department of Education
  • 2020 – joint mission to International Space Station with NASA and Quest for Space

Delivery Mechanism and Approach

MaxIQ Space has designed the STEM program so that it can be delivered at scale.

Scale requires:

  • Online resources to provide content anywhere in the world to support teachers, students and facilitators
  • Online content for experiments can be conducted without a teacher or facilitator
  • Train the trainer mechanism so that delivery of workshops can be localised
  • Kits that are robust, extensive, durable, and economical, that can be delivered anywhere in the world
  • Techniques that do not rely on lab equipment, and costly resources for effectiveness
  • Programme delivery that does not rely on highly skilled or specific individuals being available onsite

Kits

The kits comprise a variety of electronic components and sensors, specifically selected for maximum utilisation and experimentation.

This enables students to engage with important Internet of Things and Big Data concepts, as well as develop electronic products and solutions. Starting by designing and assembling their own devices, gathering data with our sensors, and transferring that data by internet to the data dashboard, the experimenters learn to track and analyse data, conducting experiments to learn about the environment, and reviewing the data live on the cloud dashboard.

Pre-coded Software

Arduino code has been developed for the kits so that students can begin experimenting within minutes. When setting up the kits, the code is copied to the kit CPU. Once students are familiar with the operations of the kit, they can develop their own code for the kit.

Coding Languages and Examples

All the CPUs can be coded in Make-Code, Java, Python, Arduino and other popular languages in education and industry. The team has developed samples of code so that students can use these to develop their own, custom solutions.

Digital Dashboards

The kits can be connected to standard dashboards developed in Kibana and UbiDots. The students can develop their own dashboards too, and both Kibana and UbiDots are open source.

Comparative data sets

The MaxIQ team has collected various sets of data using standard kits, for all students to analyse. These include:

  • Three hours during solar eclipse totality
  • Medium balloon missions to 5km (15,000 ft)
  • High altitude balloon missions to 30km (90,000 ft)
  • Antarctica inside and outside the South African habitat, from November 2019 onwards
  • Quest experiment to the International Space Station, December 2019 to March 2020
  • Andes SETI data collection from November 2019 for six months

Students are encouraged to collect data sets in extreme or unusual environments for all to share.

Space Projects

The MaxIQ team supplied kits for the ThinSat program, with the inaugural launch in April 2019. Every one of the components on the orbital mission worked perfectly, giving the team space heritage.

The MaxIQ team is eager to ensure that students have access to space, to meet the fundamentals outlined earlier:

  • Building young scientists and preparing youngsters for their futures in Industry 4.0
  • Giving access to all
  • Affordable, scalable, digital and leading to coding of experiments within minutes
  • No requirement for a lab, or any technical equipment (e.g. no soldering required to build electronics)

Launch Opportunities

MaxIQ Space has developed a partnership with bluShift Aerospace, and launch options can be found here.