Nim Dorji Trongsa and Phub Dem  

Bhutan Space Week (BSW) 2022, with the theme “Space Inspires,” began on January 17 in six dzongkhags: Trongsa, Punakha, Dagana, Thimphu, Wangdue, and Haa.

BSW is an annual week-long space promotion, outreach, and educational event observed from February 17 to 23. It was initiated in 2020 to commemorate the 40th birth anniversary of His Majesty The King.

This year, the space week event is conducted in six schools whose teachers are recipients of the Bhutan Space Week Teachers’ Award. These teachers are organising various activities in their respective schools and communities.

Eka Dawa, Tsangkha Central School teacher and his team’s proposal won the nomination for the Bhutan Space Week Teachers Award 2022, along with five other schools across the country.

The five other schools are Kabesa Central School, Tsangkha Middle Secondary School, Dechencholing Higher Secondary School, Bajothang Higher Secondary School, and Gongzim Ugyen Dorji Central School.

Eka Dawa said the objective of celebrating Space Week was to educate people on how space inspires, encourages, and motivates Bhutanese in the field of the universe.

He said that the event was also to make students understand and know what astronauts and space engineers do, and provide broader knowledge on space. “It will create room for Bhutanese in space in the future,” he added.

Eka Dawa said that the Bhutanese people could boost their interest in space exploration and groom future astronauts at the school level with the programme. “It will also help to develop simple to complex space probes.”

The programme was celebrated in containment mode among the students of the tenth and twelve standards and the staff.

Students exhibited space prototype robots, rockets, 3D planets with motion, and an in-house constructed telescope.

There was space gaming such as shooting on astronauts’ heads, fishing for planets, space sponge games, and space car races.

According to the press release from the Department of Information Technology and Telecom, BSW was launched as an annual week-long event for space promotion, outreach, and education in 2020 to nurture the youth’s interest and enthusiasm in space science and technology.

It states that following the launch of the country’s maiden satellite, youths showed a lot of interest in space education, and such a programme was essential to initiate outreach and educational activities.

According to the BSW focal officer Yeshey Choden, the participants will explore the theme ‘Space Inspires’ to understand how space was and still is a source of inspiration for technological advancements worldwide. “The theme can be enhanced by exploring how space can be used as a tool to inspire the youth towards STEM in Bhutan.”

She said that such a programme can nurture the youth’s interest and enthusiasm in space science and technology through fun and educational activities.

Bhutan Space Week (BSW) 2022 called for space-related activity proposals from teachers across the country. A committee selected six proposals, each of which received a Nu 100,000 grant.