Soweto-Born Woman With PhD From UCT Passionate About Education in Field of Astronomy

Soweto-Born Woman With PhD From UCT Passionate About Education in Field of Astronomy

  • An inspiring woman from Soweto is passionate about the field of astronomy and holds a doctoral degree from UCT in the scientific specialisation
  • Tshiamiso Neo Makwela opened up to Briefly News about the journey that led to her undertaking the field
  • The 31-year-old wants to propel astronomy education and continue thriving in the largely male-dominated field

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A smart young woman originally from Diepkloof, Soweto, is fearlessly thriving in the field of astronomy, and in 2022, she obtained her PhD in the field from the University of Cape Town (UCT).

The UCT astronomy graduate from Soweto is passionate about education in the field
Tshiamiso Neo Makwela is a UCT astronomy PhD graduate who is originally from Soweto. Image: Tshiamiso Makwela.
Source: Twitter

Tshiamiso Neo Makwela shared with Briefly News how she came to take on the field:

“Astronomy became my chosen field due to the sheer wonder and awe I experienced when gazing at the night sky, which was easily accessible to me.

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“The immense expanse of the night sky held me captivated, and the mysteries it held within its vastness stirred my curiosity, ultimately leading me to pursue a career in astronomy.”

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UCT astronomy graduate is inspired by her mom

Tshiamiso, who also holds a Master of Science in Astronomy Education from the University of the Witwatersrand, shares that her mom motivated her:

“My upbringing was largely shaped by the influence of my mother and grandmother. My mom, with her deep passion for education, played a pivotal role in supporting my educational journey."

Currently, the 31-year-old holds the position of joint postdoctoral researcher, working with the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education, which is hosted at the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy and the University of Cape Town:

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“Much of my work centres around Astronomy Education Research (AER), a field dedicated to enhancing student learning and engagement in the realm of astronomy.
“Additionally, the broader mission of the OAE is to professionalise astronomy education. Through our Teacher Training Program, we aim to empower teachers with the knowledge and confidence to effectively teach astronomy.
“This program also seeks to foster collaboration among the National Astronomy Education Coordinator, an astronomer, and a teacher to develop workshops tailored to local needs and contexts.”

Soweto woman with passion for astronomy highly ambitious

Despite the barriers to entry that exist in the field, Tshiamiso continues to tackle the field with sheer determination:

“Historically, the field of astronomy has been predominantly male-dominated. However, I'm encouraged by the shifting landscape in our country, driven by extensive capacity development and transformation efforts, particularly through initiatives like the National Astronomy Space Science Programme.

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“These endeavours are providing more opportunities for individuals of diverse backgrounds, including women and people of colour, to pursue astronomy studies.”

Tshiamiso wants to continue playing her role in the diversification of the field of astronomy in South Africa:

“I would like to express my dedication to the advancement of astronomy education and my commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity within the field.
“Astronomy has the potential to inspire and empower individuals from all backgrounds, and I'm enthusiastic about the role I can play in this endeavour.”

Brilliant graduate obtains BA in Psychology from North-West University, impresses netizens

In another inspiring story by Briefly News, a beautiful young woman is thrilled about obtaining her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.

The brilliant lady celebrated her achievement online and posted a stunning picture to commemorate the accomplishment.

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Source: Briefly News

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