30 students from Las Musas Secondary School in Madrid, in collaboration with the Israeli Embassy in Spain, will design, build and launch into space a nanosatellite for environmental research. This is a pioneering educational project, as it is unique in Europe, involving secondary school students who are not yet university graduates.
Sponsored by the Israeli ambassador to Spain, Rodica Radian-Gordon, the project aims to familiarise this group of students with astrophysics and, according to the director of IES Las Musas, José Antonio Expósito, "this group will produce aerospace engineers who will provide us with important findings".
Many of the members of the project have already been to Israel and have established the first contacts with the Israeli aerospace engineers Ana Heller and Shimrit Maman, who will guide the work of the project together with their technology teacher Víctor Barbero.
The aim of this initiative is to promote and encourage young people, especially girls, to have a passion for research and science with an innovative project, which at the same time constitutes a unique challenge in all aspects. And, as teachers and instructors say, it is both inclusive and participatory.
In turn, most of the students who have embarked on this project express their basic interest in learning about the immense possibilities of space research, and hope that the launch of the nanosatellite, which according to the work plan will take place in three years' time, will allow them to delve deeper into environmental studies based on the images transmitted by the satellite.
Not waiting until the students have entered university indicates that the maturity for knowledge is advanced in time, and that the enthusiasm to cross the frontiers of knowledge can occur at a very early age; it is enough to find the right teachers and guides, in addition to the official impulse, in this case the Embassy of Israel, with the collaboration and approval of the Ministry of Education and the Regional Office of Education of the Community of Madrid.