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Jedi workshop for beginners

Dr Michael Backes (left) a lecturer in Physics at UNAM, received the sponsorship on behalf of the university from Elzita Beukes, the Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing at the National Commission for Research, Science and Technology. UNAM will use the funds to host a mini conference on Astronomy and Space Science in June this year.

Dr Michael Backes (left) a lecturer in Physics at UNAM, received the sponsorship on behalf of the university from Elzita Beukes, the Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing at the National Commission for Research, Science and Technology. UNAM will use the funds to host a mini conference on Astronomy and Space Science in June this year.

The National Commission for Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) is sponsoring the University of Namibia with N$50,000 to host Namibia’s first ever Astronomy and Space Science workshop in Windhoek in June 2014, under the Joint Exchange Development Initiative (JEDI).
This workshop is for Namibian and South African students aspiring to become future astronomers and space scientists.
The Commission said this week the JEDI model has proven to be effective in Human Capacity Development across Africa. Hosting the workshop in Windhoek is motivated by the fact that Namibia is home to the world’s largest ground-based gamma-ray telescope, the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) in the Khomas Hocland.

Namibia also forms part of the host countries for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope which aims to study the dimensions of the universe to unprecedented accuracy.
“In a period of five to ten years, Namibia will be home to a number of radio telescope stations that will form an integral part of the big SKA telescope” the science commission said.
Namibia is presently in the running, together with South Africa, to host a gamma-ray observatory, the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), which is used to study dark matter in the universe. “We believe that this workshop is key in ensuring active participation and growth for Namibia’s future scientists.
 The importance of investing in research programmes of this nature has to be emphasised, as it has the potential to broaden our country’s existing scientific and technological expertise, and will lead to further industry spin-off benefits”, said Dr Eino Mvula, the commission’s CEO. “At the end of the school, students will leave with a wealth of information regarding the field of Astronomy and Space Science and its various areas of research. This information becomes very useful and can act as a guide and motivation to students that wish to pursue postgraduate studies in the field of Astronomy and Space Science”, said Dr Michael Backes, lecturer in Physics at UNAM.

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