The Canadian Space Agency has selected Western University to help them guide the Junior Astronauts initiative with the program goal of engaging 80,000 youth across Canada during the current school year.
Western University is already known for its excellent space science programs including its Centre for Planetary Science & Exploration. As well the university hosts a Space Explorers Camp for children and the Space Matters outreach website.
The contract is for one year effective immediately and is valued at $400,000. The CSA issued the request for proposals on July 17, 2019.
According to the CSA the Junior Astronauts initiative has three main components:
- Webpages with fun space activities targeting K-12 youth, their parents, and educators.
- Structured content for youth in grades 6 to 9 (6 to secondary 3 in Quebec) to be run in Canadian educational and youth-serving institutions during the 2019-2020 school year. The activities are linked to what it takes to be an astronaut, with a focus on scientific understanding, physical fitness and nutrition, and teamwork and communication. Astronaut or space expert visits will be awarded randomly to participating groups. Please refer to the following website for more information: www.asc-csa.gc.ca/JuniorAstronauts.
- Junior Astronauts Recruitment Campaign for youth in grades 6 to 9 (6 to secondary 3 in Quebec). Participants from across Canada will be invited to the CSA’s headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, to meet some of our experts and train like an astronaut. The mandate of the consultant is related to the second component of the initiative and includes the review, distribution and delivery of the structured content via the consultant’s youth education network throughout Canada, and in particular in rural regions and Northern communities.