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Education Forum unveils Singapore’s first global space initiative for youth to expand the future economy

The annual STEM 2.0 Education Forum by leading space organisation, Space Faculty, kicked off by shifting the global space and deep tech talent discussion into high gear with close to 200 students, educators and industry leaders in attendance.


The STEM 2.0 Education Forum, launched in 2023 by Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Education and Foreign Affairs, is a first-of-its-kind platform to connect the education agenda with future industry talent demands in the high-growth space and deep tech sector.

Dr Maliki was the guest-of-honour once again for this year’s STEM 2.0 Education Forum, reaffirming his commitment to bring the education and deep tech industry agendas closer together to enable youths to access high-value STEM careers in the future.

The Launch of Expand Space – Singapore’s first-ever global youth platform for space and deep-tech

The highlight of this year's Forum was the unveiling of Expand Space, Singapore’s first-ever global youth platform for space and deep-tech. Designed for individuals under 35 years old, Expand Space integrates four tracks across space and deep-tech into a holistic 360-degree experience held annually:

  • Learning and career development

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Technology development, and

  • Research

Connecting these different tracks creates a holistic pathway for youths to enter the global space and deep-tech sectors from any point in their lives.

Programmes like the GNSS Innovation Quest that Space Faculty jointly organises with Singapore Land Authority; the International Space Challenge that has a 16-year track record; and the recently launched Space Data Series will be part of the ‘Learning and Career Development’ track of Expand Space. Space Faculty’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp will be a key feature of the ‘Entrepreneurship’ track.

This addresses a current global gap: with the increasing sophistication in space and deep-tech sectors, talent entering these industries need to develop advanced STEM skills from early on in their academic career and not only from the time they pursue higher education.

“Expand Space is a pioneering effort for youths to access learning, entrepreneurship, research and career opportunities in space and deep-tech in one ecosystem. Think of this as the ‘South by Southwest’ of Space. Space and deep-tech are so integral to our everyday lives that we have reached an inflection point: it is time to change the way we enable our youths for the future,” said Lynette Tan, CEO of Space Faculty.


“I am happy to hear that Space Faculty plans to evolve this current STEM 2.0 Education Forum into Expand Space. Expand Space integrates four tracks across space and deep-tech – learning and career development, entrepreneurship, technology development and research – creating a holistic pathway for youths to enter the global space and deep-tech sectors. More importantly, Expand Space will enable Singapore to play a global, strategic role in bringing youths together to share the tech agenda for the future world,” said Dr Maliki.


The Expand Space platform is a natural extension of the momentum that space and deep-tech have picked up in recent years. The STEM 2.0 Education Forum which started last year has generated tremendous interest across both educators and industry. In the course of 2023, over 5000 youths, educators, professionals and entrepreneurs have participated in Space Faculty’s ecosystem of programmes that connect passion to profession. Expand Space was thus created to bring all the programmes together into a coherent platform that builds the talent pipeline for the future, and where anyone can start their journey to a space and deep-tech career or startup.

The first edition of Expand Space will be held on 11th November 2024.


International Space Challenge: A Catalyst for Expand Space

A significant highlight of the Forum is the announcement of the winning teams of the International Space Challenge, the catalyst for Expand Space. Originating in 2008, the International Space Challenge has since evolved into a global platform connecting young minds with industry experts to nurture interest in space technology and its applications both on Earth and in Space.

Focused on the theme of Space Mining, the International Space Challenge 2024 brought a very current topic that has been dominating the space industry in recent times. For the starter category, participants were tasked to develop innovative business ideas to support the space mining industry. In the advanced category, the Challenge was to design space craft missions to extract and collect data and usable materials from space objects. 

Over 460 youths from 19 countries participated in the Challenge, with over 50 per cent of participants from Singapore.


Clinching the top prize this year was Team Venator comprising four students from the National University of Singapore that designed an end-to-end system to mine, collect and store large quantities of water on the South Lunar Pole of the Moon, providing water affordably for in-situ resource utilisation (ISRU) to support future space exploration missions.

The next edition of the International Space Challenge will be integrated into Expand Space as one of the key highlights under the ‘Learning and Career Development’ track, and will be a cornerstone of the annual event.

Dr Maliki was on hand at the STEM 2.0 Education Forum to launch Expand Space and present prizes to the winners of the International Space Challenge.


Landmark International Collaboration to Make Space Exploration Accessible

In a landmark move, the MILO Space Science Institute and Space Faculty have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further expand and develop cooperation in the field of space exploration. Bound by the common DNA to make space science and exploration more accessible to countries around the world that want to increase their knowledge, infrastructure and human capital, and participate more deeply in the growing global space economy, MILO Space Science Institute and Space Faculty will bring their combined expertise and global reach in this latest collaboration.


One of the first few initiatives will be the development of space science programmes that will feature in the Expand Space platform. The MILO Institute is a non-profit organisation led by Arizona State University (ASU). ASU has supported 19 missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond, with another 12 in development.


Future Leaders, Future Direction

The STEM 2.0 Education Forum also featured inspiring talks by youth leaders, who shared their experiences of participating in space tech programmes like the International Space Challenge, and how these enabled them to pursue deep tech and space careers.

The Forum ended on a high with a panel discussion that explored Asia's pivotal role in the global space landscape and how government, industry and educators can collaborate better to encourage talent development in space and deep-tech. The panel featured insights from thought leaders across industry, education and government.

  • Candace Johnson, Entrepreneur, Founder and Investor, SES, Loral-Teleport Europe, Europe Online, ILS, Kacific Chair of Seraphim Space Advisory Board and Partner Founding Vice Chair of NorthStar Earth & Space

  • Dr. Kenneth Witcher, Dean of the College of Aviation, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

  • Sir Martin Sweeting, Executive Chairman, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

  • Sng Chern Wei, Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Education, Singapore

  • Casey Mace, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy in Singapore

  • Lynette Tan, CEO, Space Faculty

The Forum, with its strategic fusion of industry and education, positions Singapore at the forefront of global STEM talent development. Expand Space, born from the International Space Challenge, promises to nurture the next generation of leaders and innovators in space exploration and deep technology.

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