Canadian Space Agency Junior Astronaut Initiative
Canadian Space Agency Junior Astronaut Initiative

Junior Astronauts Consultants RFP Amended

The request for proposals (RFP) from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) released July 17 has been amended with answers to potential bidders questions.

The RFP is looking for a consultant to work with the CSA for a year to help deliver the Junior Astronauts initiative program to youth across the country.

Question 1 – Can you share the CSA content in advance in order for us to see the nature of the activities? If not, can you please offer detail about the structured content? In particular, how many activities are there? What is the approximate duration of each activity (2 hours? 30 minutes?). Are they designed to be delivered by trained instructors or are they self-directed learning? Do they require materials, equipment or technology that would need to be purchased? Without this level of detail, it is very difficult for us to devise a distribution and delivery plan.

Answer 1 – Activities will be shared following contract award. The activities are not self-directed and the educators or youth leaders will be expected to deliver them without any specialized or advanced training. It is expected that there are approximately 5 to 15 activities per stream, that range from a duration of approximately 15 minutes to 60 minutes each. The activities are being designed such that they require little to no material or equipment and are accessible by educators or youth leaders. It is expected that some activities are to be delivered by the consultant, to locations that are “hard-to-reach digitally”.

Question 2 – We see that your expected reach between Sept and June is 80,000 youth. Is the expectation that all 80,000 youth have content delivered to them face-to-face by an instructor, or can some of this reach be attained through the distribution of material (i.e. a pamphlet or link where the learning is self-directed).

Answer 2 – The activities are not self-directed and it is expected that they will be delivered face-to-face by an educator or youth leader. Most activities will be accessible on-line by the educators and youth leaders. However, throughout the contract, the consultant will be also required to distribute and deliver activities to locations that are “hard-to-reach digitally”.

Question 3 – One of the impact measurements you have proposed is “% of youth who have greater desire to study STEM fields”. If the majority of the content is an online activity or a short 1-2 hour workshop, it is neither possible nor accurate to attempt to measure participants’ desire to pursue STEM fields. How were you proposing to measure an increase in future intentions after such a short exposure?

Answer 3 – It is planned to be a response provided by the educator or youth leader who leads the activity, having gained a sense of the youths’ interest in STEM and future intentions, at the time the activity has been completed. One example of how this can be accomplished, is by having the educators provide feedback on a scale of 1 to 10 (i.e. no change in their interest/motivation to significant change in their interest/motivation in STEM).

Question 4 – Can you help explain the reasoning behind the “focus period”? Why is there a distinction made between the “focus period” and “outside the focus period”? Are there specific targets that need to be reached by the end of the focus period? Will a proposal be more strongly evaluated if the reach during the focus period is greater than outside the focus period?

Answer 4 – The 80,000 youth targeted is for the whole period of the contract. In order for educators and youth leaders to be eligible to apply for the Astronaut visits and for youth to be eligible to apply for the Junior Astronauts Camp, the youth will have to complete all the requirements within the focus period (September 2019 to February 2020). The distribution and delivery outside focus period will not support applications to the Astronaut visits nor to the Junior Astronauts Camp in summer of 2020, however it will increase the campaign’s overall reach and participation to the three streams of activities. The goal of the contract is to maximize reach and application to the summer 2020 Junior Astronauts Camp, so it is preferable to have maximized reach within the focus period. However, proposals are not being specifically evaluated to compare reach within and outside the focus period.

Further details.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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