By Los Angeles Sentinel News Service, USA
Published March 7, 2019
Dr. Bettye Walker (L) with students and attendees at Opening.
South Africa welcomed the opening of The first Chapter of theNational Space Society’s (NSS) on the African Continent: The Cape Town Space Society(CTSS). Prof. Hildreth (Hal) Walker, Jr. , the man that conducted the Lunar Laser Ranging Operations during the Apollo 11 Moon Landing and Dr. Bettye Walker worked tirelessly to bring the first Chapter of the US National Space Society to The African Continent and received a grand welcome.
The audience of 600 enjoyed a true adventure into outer Space at Buren High School on Wednesday February 27, 2019. The Auditorium was transformed into a Space Vehicle and the Lights, Cameras and Action began!
Philosopher Andre du Toit, from Smile Radio Station 94 FM, served as MC for the event and the 3 students who attended the 2018 International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in Los Angeles with Hal and Bettye, stepped out of the Space Shuttle in their Astronaut outfits to present the follow up information on their VASIMR Engine Project.
Prof Hal Walker gave an amazing speech on the insight on his Laser Ranging Experiment during the Apollo 11 Moon Landing 50 Years ago. Dr. Bettye introduced NOMATHEMBA Kontyo, a former student that she trained who worked on the Mars Rovers mission at JPL/NASA when she was 15 and who now has her Masters in Geology. Bettye also introduced Astronomer and physicist from New York. In attendance, were the Deputy US Consul General and former Counsel General from South Africa to Los Angeles, along with VIP guests from Los Angeles, Washington, D.C, Detroit, Michigan, New York and the UK. Brian Hagerty, Chair, IEEE Southern California Council, brought greetings to the audience via SKYPE from Los Angeles. Other attendees included, The Rotary clubs of Sea Point, Am Kap and Blouberg with DG Kruger and PDG Stassen.
The Opening was sponsored by The Afrinique Foundation for Women and Youth and The Croxton Cape pty Ltd.
In 1997, President Nelson Mandela asked Hildreth and Bettye to Promise to implement science and technology programs in South Africa schools. They fulfilled this promise and A-MAN, Inc. STEM International provides programs where students participate in hands- on activities with laser beams, robotics, and computer labs at Donix Electronic Solutions.
The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, non – profit organization. The Cape Town Space Society website: https://www.capetownspacesociety.org.za/
Professor Hal and Dr. Bettye founded, the A – MAN, Inc. STEM International Science Center to promote Science and technology for girls and boys.” In the 21st Century, we must use technology as a solution and promote technologists.” says Walker.
Dr. Bettye Walker is also a pioneer of STEM education and outreach. Having served as a university professor and school principal, she launched a UCLA-funded pilot project in the 1980s for STEM outreach for at-risk and under-served populations. In 1997, she hosted STEM learning expeditions to South Africa, and was personally invited by Nelson Mandela to bring the Walkers’ African-American Male Achievers Network (A-MAN) and Young Ladies Achievers Club (Y-LAC) STEM programs and other initiatives to South Africa.
Professor Hal and Dr. Bettye Walker are amazing, telling important stories, moving ahead in STEM education and generously sharing their knowledge to the world.
The Opening of the National Space Society’s (NSS) Cape Town Space Society, produced a show with the Sky not being the Limit and our Children are truly our future!