On 29th April 2023, a group of 35 students from Garpawoong Middle Secondary School and some 15 students from various departments of the college, attended a hands-on workshop on “Introduction to Satellite and Ground station Application” organized by JNEC students.
The workshop was designed to cater basics of space education, satellite development and importance of STEM to students of middle secondary schools, with the aim to inspire and motivate students to take up higher education in relevant subjects. The workshop comprised of seminars and series of presentations, interactive Q&A sessions and practical hands-on session.
The workshop was tailored as a hands- on experience to learn the basics of Satellite communication using “EduSat”; a home-grown educational satellite prototype, designed by the students of Diploma in Electronics and Communication Engineering in the college.
To make the theoretical experience relatable, the students were also provided a tour of the Ground station located in the college. The students were involved in learning basics of antenna, communication equipment, ground station monitoring systems and were involved in tracking a satellite in real time.
The workshop was graced by Dr. Tshewang Lhendup, President of the college, who in his opening remark, interacted with students and highlighted on the importance of STEM as a tool to prepare for evolved and digitized tomorrow. He conducted a poll to count the number of students who aspire to pursue STEM subjects in future and promised that the perspective shall be improved by the end of the workshop.
The facilitators of the workshop were student team from the college, who had participated and worked closely in developing a satellite prototype in participation towards BIRDS-X satellite project, organized by Kyushu Institute of Technology. The teacher-student team from JNEC, has progressed through to phase 2 of the competition, making through to a cut-throat international participation. As a social initiative and to impart their experience of working in the developing payload, the team members conceptualized the workshop to include school and university students.
Jiwan Thapa, a Diploma student in Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) presented on the introduction to Space, satellite, and STEM relevance in Bhutan, through a series of presentations and interactive QnA. Bal Krishna Pradhan, a Diploma student in ECE, provided depth to the concepts and basics technologies involved in space and satellite communication engineering. Phurba Wangchen, a final year student in Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, shared his experience and technical processes involved in prototyping a satellite payload.
Following the theoretical sessions, the participants were divided into two parallel sessions, one group attended the hands-on for “EduSat” and the other group visited the Ground Station facility, and later switched the learning centers. The participants were served refreshments and awarded with certificates of participation.
In the closing remark, the poll was again conducted, and it was comforting to count improved figure in number of students who were now interested to pursue STEM subjects. The feedback from students were warmly positive and indicating their genuine interest to attend such workshops and avenues in future.
The workshop which was a part of social service through educational exchange in the community, saw overwhelming participation from schools in the locality which strengthened the idea and need to conduct such workshops in future. As a way forward, the organizing committee promised to expand invitation to various other schools in the locality and include more learning and interactive activities.