Susan Murabana Owen

CEO and Co-Founder, The Travelling Telescope

Region:          Africa

Field:              Communication; Science

 

Profile:     Susan Murabana is the co-founder and the CEO of The Travelling Telescope, a social enterprise dedicated to promoting astronomy in Africa. Her team takes their large portable telescopes and mobile planetarium to schools and public spaces, engaging students and families in the oldest science. The Travelling Telescope also partners with lodges educating and entertaining tourists about the beautiful unpolluted equatorial Kenyan night skies. Her company recently built a planetarium in the heart of Nairobi with a bamboo dome. In addition to these programs, her company is the youth partner of Airbus Foundation through Airbus Little Engineers – a robotics space program targeting Kenyan school kids. Through the school outreach programs, The Travelling Telescope team has reached hundreds of thousands of kids individually. Susan is also the founding president of African Planetarium Association, the national co-ordinator of Astronomers without Borders and Universe Awareness. She is passionate about quality education for all and gender equality.

 

Network Activities: 

1. Annular Solar Eclipse on 21st June 2020: The Travelling Telescope in partnership with African Astronomical Society plans to hold a live telecast for the eclipse, which will be partial in Kenya. We hope that we can have a huge global audience for this eclipse.

2. Space Song: We have recently started creating short fun space songs with facts about celestial objects. During the pandemic, with limited movement, we are working with our children as the actors and singers! Our first song: The Sun song has received good reviews from our networks. We will keep creating these songs for the young audience with an idea of having a TikTok challenge. Our next song will be about the upcoming eclipse in a month. We believe that Arts play a huge role in communication science and therefore are huge ambassadors of STEAM education.  The idea of the space songs is to hopefully encourage young girls and boys to be inspired into science in whatever form including art.

3. The Cosmic Quiz: Is a bi-weekly event hosted by The Travelling Telescope, families join in via zoom and respond to questions. We created this event to engage our audience especially kids during the pandemic, however we feel that we will keep on with the project even after Covid-19.

4. Public talks in schools, Star parties and Outreach programs: After the pandemic we will continue with our outreach programs in schools where we have emphasized on working with girls and encouraging young female graduate to join our programs and serve as role models

5. Panel discussions: I will continue appearing on panel discussions with the main aim of encouraging young girls to pursue careers they would like