Inspiring the next generation - Education and outreach in the space sector 


Space is not only valuable for the development of new technology and exploring new markets, but it also plays a critical role in inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, artists, coders and more. In this engaging panel session, we will discuss the effect Apollo had on inspiring today's scientists and engineers and we will take a look at what in space is inspiring people today; from SPIN to Tim Peake, from space-based STEM outreach in schools and community groups to the influence of social media. We will also investigate how YOU can get involved in space outreach and why there doesn’t have to be "skills gap” in the space sector.


Democratisation In Space – Your Place In Space


Space is becoming an increasing part of our daily lives, creating opportunities beyond the traditional use cases. Advances in technology are driving down the cost and ease of access to space. A wide range of free, open and easily-accessible data is also enabling a wide range of applications here on Earth. We are witnessing a movement towards a “new space” area enabling new actors, from students to small start-ups to engage with the industry from a variety of sectors. In this interactive panel, we will look at how you can engage with space and discuss the changing roles played by, regional, national and European government and organisations. We will look at how they are supporting the uptake of space data and technology form a variety of business applications.

John Chinner has a great passion to stimulate, educate and inspire as many young people into STEM careers as possible. Being a self-confessed space geek really helps with this. He currently works for Airbus Defence and Space Engineering Academy as the Faculty Leader for Electronics, Electrics, Electromagnetics, Optics and Optronics. 


His passion for STEM outreach started when he Joined Airbus in 2010. This really took off when Tim Peake’s selection as an ESA astronaut came around where he supported the outreach side of the Principa mission. He was also part of the Astro Pi team, where he conducted the shock, vibration and EMC tests on the two payloads at Airbus in Portsmouth before they were sent to space.


He is currently focusing his outreach activities on the ExoMars rover launch in 2020. This has resulted in him building the functional model Yuri 3 rover. He will often get the students to drive the rover remotely form another room, simulating the excitement of the search for life on Mars. It’s this stimulation and interaction that he believes makes a real difference.


gallery/john chinner headshot
gallery/international_bowden - kathie bowden

Kathie leads on Skills and Careers Development for the UK Space Agency. She is a geologist (UCL) with a postgraduate diploma from the University of Northern Arizona where she specialised in remote sensing applications, and has over 30 years’ experience of the application of space data in industry. Additionally she managed a team that delivered 4 major public understanding of science projects (Windows on – the World, the UK, the Universe and Life) whilst consulting more broadly across industry sectors. Kathie now concentrates on skills issues across the space sector and is closely involved with Space Growth Partnership activities.

John Chinner - Faculty Leader, Airbus Defence and Space Engineering Academy

Kathie Bowden - National Point of Contact for Skills and Careers, UK Space Agency

More Panellists will be announced soon