The First African in Space Team is breaking new ground in South Africa, not just with Mark's flight but also by using the media to encourage learners to study science and mathematics.
To test the awareness of the Education Outreach media campaign, the interpretation of the message conveyed and the inspirational mind shift achieved by the campaign, we are conducting a series of surveys throughout South Africa, both before and after the mission.
The focus group will consist of the 102 Dedicated Schools identified by the Department of Education to attend the Autumn Clinic in Johannesburg. This group will be reached for pre-campaign testing through the Clinic, and afterwards by mail.
The control group will be drawn from schools countrywide reached through the media.
Pre- and Post-testing
The initial questionnaires will be returned by 5 May; a follow-up questionnaire will be issued in August/September. Once all the data has been collected, it will be statistically analysed to measure the effectiveness of the campaign in increasing the awareness of maths and science at school as ways to achieve a viable and preferred career choice.
The results should be available by early November and will ideally show an increased awareness of the future opportunities created by studying science and mathematics at school.