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Scientist Profiles

Ms. Susan Murabana

Managing Director at The Travelling Telescope Africa Ltd.

An astronomer bringing the stars closer to children, by taking a portable telescope and mobile planetarium to schools and sites around the country, and who dreams of creating the region’s first public Observatory and Planetarium.
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Ms. Susan Murabana travels around Kenya to show young students the stars. “Science is everywhere,” she says. “And this way we can show young girls and boys that science is cool too.” When humans look through the lens of a telescope, they are forced to reckon with many important concepts. Firstly, the vastness of the universe and the planet and their own role in it. Secondly, that the possibilities for their life journeys are vast. Thirdly, that science and knowledge is accessible. Ms. Murabana believes that these concepts can embed themselves in the spirit of young people and change the trajectory of their lives.

The Travelling Telescope is a company founded by Ms. Murabana and her husband, who came up with the name. The Travelling Telescope travels around the country with educators and experts in various fields to allow students to look through a mobile telescope.

“Most kids and even adults have never looked through a telescope. They have never seen the moon or the stars close up,” she explains. Her goals is to change that. The team reach out to public schools and parents across Kenya and have recently also begun touring in Tanzania.

Sharing knowledge and her passion for development has always been important to Ms. Murabana. Her undergraduate degree was in economics and sociology, but she has always been interested in astronomy and pursued her masters degree in the science. As an astronomer, she believes that astronomy provides a window to so many concepts within the sciences.

Since 2002, she has been involved in outreach where she tours schools around the country and outlines different potential career paths available in the sciences. The purpose is to stimulate young minds with the possibilities that exist for their future. Touring schools implanted the idea of bringing students in rural areas a tangible connection to the world of science. It was her husband, who suggested a telescope. With the Travelling Telescope, students ask questions on every subject imaginable. From in depth astronomy queries, to philosophical thoughts about what our place is in the world, Mrs. Murabana witnesses the opening of minds and it is an experience that she has still not tired from.

But Ms.Murabana’s dream is even bigger than the success of the Travelling Telescope. She dreams of creating the region’s first public Observatory and Planetarium. A place where Kenyans could come for themselves to view nature’s wonder and realise just how important science is to the very fabric of humanity. “Astronomy is connected to everything,” she says, “Who knows where it could lead?”

Mawazo Institute