Students’ Conference on Diversity and Inclusion in the Space Sector

The Space Sector can be perceived as exclusive, intended only for the most privileged individuals. It can also be viewed as connected solely to technical sciences and not having anything to do with other scientific domains. But we believe that space is a truly interdisciplinary arena where all are invited, and all are needed.  

The tasks were all space related but designed to be fit for students of all disciplines. For example, in the first task, students had to prepare a menu for astronauts on a space station using input data about calorie requirements, food options and preferences. This was a difficult task that required calculations, creativity and, most importantly, collaboration.  In other tasks students were required to rapidly learnspace-related vocabulary in a foreign language because space collaboration requires multilingualism. There were also constructing tasks and mysteries to be solved.

Photo by Maria Marczyńska
Photo by Maria Marczyńska

To promote inclusion of the space sector students were asked in one task to record a daily vlog from the space station targeting different audiences: kids, seniors, STEM or social sciences students. The best vlogs were played by the end of the conference to all the participants.  

Six experts were invited to help rate the teams’ performance and at the end of the event the best four teams were rewarded. The winning team will have a chance to participate in the Analog Astronaut Training. The other three teams will take part in online Design Thinking Method accredited workshops provided by Inprogress Design Lab, one of the partners of the event.  

Photo by Maria Marczyńska

The students’ conference in numbers: 

  • 100 participants of the Students Conference  
  • 5 universities represented 
  • 16 international teams  
  • 10 special tasks designed by students for students 
  • 6 guest experts 
  • 4 winning teams 
  • 31 profiles of people from diverse backgrounds in the space sector.
Photo by Maria Marczyńska