Brilliant Remote Sensing Labs (BRS-Labs), Hexagon’s Developing Education partner, recently offered their “K12 Space and Satellite Technology School Program” for high school students from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The program was offered to 57 students from five schools. The students were split into three groups, one for each module, for a competition of which school had the highest number of successful students. The students were excited about the opportunity to gain practical skills.
The program was launched to initiate global training for schools as an extra-curricular practical activity. Ahmed Aly, the school program manager, said BRS-Labs wanted the education platform to introduce the basics of space science, satellites and remote sensing technologies to students 10- to 16-years-old and turn their attention to these fields. This program intends to open students’ eyes to the opportunity of acquiring new skills and allows independent experience of satellite imagery processing and analysis. Aly continued, “It enables them not only to understand the basics of these technologies, but also to plan their future career and academic studies step-by-step.”
The three certification modules each group studied was a “Certified Junior” level. The courses are Astronaut, Satellite Image Analyst & Interpreter and Satellite Image Processing & Remote Sensing Specialist. In each course, students are taught the fundamentals of remote sensing and real application of satellite imagery data. Astronaut introduces the basics of Space Science and Technology. Satellite Image Analyst and Interpreter reviews satellite interpretations, analyses, objects identification and characteristics interrelations. Finally, Satellite Image Processing and Remote Sensing Specialist offers ERDAS IMAGINE, Hexagon’s imagery processing and analytics software, through Hexagon’s campus-wide grant program.
High school “Bosanska Crupa” won the competition. After students took their online exams, the school hosted a seminar and graduation. Two students demonstrated their skills and knowledge by presenting the program and another interpreted an image from the International Space Station. After these presentations, students were awarded their course certificates and the school was offered its “Certified Space & Satellites Technology School” certificate offered by BRS-Labs.
Amna Dervišagić, the Bosnia and Herzegovina program coordinator, stated the program was a challenge for the students and herself. She noted the hands-on approach was refreshing compared to math or geography. “I hope that my students have found common ground in their future professions and I would like to thank Hexagon and Brilliant Remote Sensing Labs,” Amna said. She continued that the students are proud of their success and school’s new reputation.
Amela Arnautović, a well-achieving student, said, “The course was very interesting and easy to understand. I feel like I’ve learned a lot. I’m thankful for the opportunity to take the course and I’m sure it will aid me in the future.”
Erna Halkić, an accomplished program student, noted how interesting the program was and how the videos and pictures helped her digest the information. She enjoyed the open book exam. It wasn’t difficult for her and she was impressed with the program’s goal of required understanding as opposed to memory. Erna said, “I would be very glad if such a program is taught in my school as an extracurricular activity or practical module. I am glad to have participated in a program like this.”
BRS-Labs is a global education developer. They designed the “K12 Space Science and Satellites Academy” website based on their own learning management system, originally used with their “Remote Sensing Portal” education platform. The recorded video lectures are always accessible, the exams happen three times a week to accommodate time zones and are overseen using webcams. The system also offers fast assistance during exams through a chat tool. BRS-Labs managed the program completely online by providing students technical support, the educational content and ERDAS IMAGINE licenses management.
Ayman Salem, BRS-Labs’ Executive Director, is excited about the program’s success with its first school deployment. He wants to reach out to students globally to offer the enlightening material as an introduction to modern skills and technologies. He said, “We welcome cooperation with any organization wanting to become an education partner to achieve a similar success story.”
A nice aspect of this program is that the main players are from three different countries: Hexagon from the USA, BRS-Labs from Egypt and High school “Bosanska Krupa” from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The program was completely managed online. This success exemplifies new norms in delivering education, practical training, testing and certification, where the service can be offered regardless of any geographic distances and time constraints.
All program administrators are excited about its success. The students are glad they participated. Ahmed Aly also followed-up to share students are being shown current space and geospatial technology job postings with their qualifications. These career websites are recommended on the K12 Space Science and Satellites Academy homepage and will help students use program knowledge to manage their academic and working careers.