As way of giving back to society, RCMRD's SERVIR-E&SA project, GLOBE through the Kenya Space Agency and TAHMO introduced an activity dubbed “RCMRD Space Challenge” targeting primary and secondary schools to enlighten and equip the children in Kenya on some of the causes and drivers of climate change. The RCMRD Space Challenge leverages on partnership between RCMRD, GLOBE, TAHMO and 4-H Kenya, Primary Schools and High schools within Kenya. A total of 30 schools including primary and secondary were represented in the year 2019 Space Challenge which started off with teachers orientation (3-day training workshop and consultations, which took place at RCMRD.)
The main aim of the training was to equip teachers with necessary skills in land cover changes and linkages with weather variables forming the base of 2019 RCMRD-Kenya Space challenge. This year, students were required to determine relationships between weather parameters(temperature, precipitation, humidity), NDVI (MODIS) and Malaria occurrence in Homa Bay County.
This focuses on food security and health pillars by the Kenyan government. The weather data was sourced from the Automatic Weather stations - same as the one installed at RCMRD close to MODIS receiver, NDVI from MODIS and Malaria Data from Ministry of Health in Kenya). Like in 208, the 2019 challenge was level specific with primary and secondary schools having different sets of challenges on Friday 5th July 2019 at Sports View Hotel,Kasarani.
During the opening session of the event on July 5, 2019 held at SportsView Hotel, RCMRD Director General Dr. Emmanuel Nkurunziza said, "We are grateful for the support of USAID and NASA in convening this Space Challenge event to encourage our young people to be successful in science." Dr. Nkurunziza further said, "You students have every opportunity to be successful, and we are here to encourage you all."
At the end of it all, everyone emerged a winner and presentations by Shree Swaminarayan Junior, St. Scholastica Catholic School and Manyati Primary School were accorded numbers 1, 2 and 3. In the Secondary Schools category, Shree Swaminarayan Academy,Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls and Homabay High School took numbers 1 to 3.