Nelly Ben Hayoun at the International Astronautical Federation

Nelly Ben Hayoun, Designer of Experiences at the SETI Institute is now officially a member of the International Astronautical Federation, Space Outreach and Education committee.

Read more about the committee's activities here

Objective/Scope of the Committee

The Space Education and Outreach Committee (SEOC) promotes the development and delivery of quality learning and outreach opportunities for students, educators and members of the IAF so that space, science and technology become better known and are more accessible to the global community.

SEOC’s scope includes all matters pertaining to the effects of space activities on the formal and informal education and outreach process and vice-versa. These include specific student activities and supervised youth experiments; the use for educational purposes of communications satellites, Earth observation satellites, manned and unmanned spacecraft, and ground-based laboratories; the many educational techniques developed to motivate the learning of scientific and other disciplines; and the activities of groups intended to raise public awareness of the benefits of space activities.

Committee rules for membership applications and renewal

SEOC has one Chair and five Vice-Chairs (E1 Symposium, E2 Student Conference, Outreach, Workforce Development, and Communications). They are proposed by the Committee and with the concurrence of the Vice-President for Technical Activities are appointed by the Bureau. They serve three year terms and may be re-elected for one additional three-year term.

The prime attribute of an individual SEOC member should be activity and tangible contribution to the committee’s goals and objectives. SEOC seeks to recruit people from all regions of the world. To be considered for SEOC membership, an individual must have two supporters who are currently SEOC members and attend at least one SEOC meeting so that he/she can become familiar with the activities of the committee and confirm their interest in becoming an active member. They must submit a CV to the SEOC Chair at least two weeks before the committee meeting at which their membership will be considered and specify which SEOC activity team they will join and contribute to. Following SEOC approval, the new members are nominated by the SEOC Chair and the Vice-President for Technical Activities and appointed by the Bureau.

When it becomes clear that a SEOC member does not have the time and/or the resources to make active contributions to SEOC but would like to stay in touch with the committee, SEOC established “Friends of SEOC” in order to provide opportunities for new members who can play a more active role.

Symposiums/Sessions at the IAC

SEOC organises and conducts the E1 Space Education and Outreach Symposium and the E2 Student Conference.

The E1 Symposium focuses on activities, methods and techniques for formal and informal space education at different educational levels, space outreach to the general public, and space workforce development. The Symposium has eight technical sessions, and SEOC solicits papers that have clear education and outreach content and that clearly identify target groups, benefits, lessons learned, good practice and measures of critical assessment. The technical session on Workforce Development is co-organised by SEOC and the Workforce Development/Young Professional Programme Committee (WD/YPP) and the International Project/Programme Management Committee (IPMC).

The E2 Student Conference is a forum for the presentation of space-related papers by undergraduate and graduate students who participate in an international student competition. The Conference currently has three technical sessions. Two of the sessions form a single competition that allows up to one undergraduate student and one graduate student from each country to present their work to a jury of SEOC members and other IAF members to compete to win one of the IAF student paper awards. The third session is the Student Team Competition in which students presenting in this session compete for the Hans von Muldau Team Award. For the 2013 IAC in Beijing, China, a new technical session on Educational Pico and Nano Satellites will be introduced which will be co-organised by SEOC and the Space Universities Administrative Committee (SUAC).

Beginning with the 2009 IAC in Daejeon, Korea, SEOC has co-organised four Next Generation Plenaries involving students and young professionals with the WD/YPP Committee, the Space Operations Committee, and the Subcommittee on the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). SEOC has also organised other education-related plenaries at past IAC’s.

Technical meetings or events outside of the IAC

Since 2004, SEOC has held annual strategy meetings prior to the IPC meetings in Paris to review its objectives and initiate or reorient its future activities as needed to meet its objectives.

SEOC has organised a number of space education symposia and workshops both at IAC’s and other locations (the latter usually with partner organisations).

Other committee activities

SEOC is responsible for awarding, either on its own or in conjunction with other bodies, a number of medals and awards. The Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal is presented annually to an educator who has demonstrated excellence in taking the fullest advantage of the resources available to him/her to promote the student of astronautics and related space sciences. The Luigi G. Napolitano Award is presented annually to a young scientist (below 30 years of age) who contributed significantly to the advancement of the aerospace science and gives a paper on this contribution at the IAC. The IAF Student Awards recognise the best papers presented by students at the IAC in the undergraduate, graduate and student team categories.

SEOC has developed and conducted two IAF Educator Professional Development Programme workshops to engage primary and secondary school educators in learning-specific activities including workshop and panel sessions appended to the IAC to complement the Congress’ professional presentations and technical sessions. The next workshop is planned for the 2013 IAC in Beijing.

SEOC collaborates with the International Space Education Board to ensure the delivery of a complimentary student program and funded participation of students from Canada, Europe, Japan, the United States and other countries at the IACs.

SEOC participated in the development of the Emerging Space Leaders (ESL) Grant Programme, and SEOC members chair and participate in the ESL Selection Committee. The SEOC Chair is a member of the ESL Steering Committee which reviews and takes action on these recommendations. SEOC participates in the integration of the grant recipients into the student and young professional activities at the IAC.

SEOC participated in the development of the Young Space Leaders (YSL) Recognition Programme which was approved in 2012. The SEOC Chair participates in the YSL Selection Committee.

SEOC is cooperating with the Power Committee, WD/YPP and the Space Generation Advisory Committee (SGAC) to organise the 1st Space Solar Power International Student and Young Professional Design Competition (SSP Competition) at the 2012 IAC in Naples.