The logo for DStv Eutelsat Star Awards.

The 2015 edition of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards competition now open.

The 2015 edition of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards is now open. We are calling all learners between the ages of 14 - 19 to write an essay or design a poster on how satellites have helped us to understand and take care of our planet.

The DStv Eutelsat Star Awards is part of the ongoing partnership between MultiChoice Africa and Eutelsat since 1999. This pan-African collaboration has over the years created meaningful engagement with students, the academic community and the scientific world. Since its inception, the competition has drawn over a 3 000 entries across the continent and has invigorated a passion for science amongst the younger generation.

The Awards are open to all students from secondary (high) or combined schools in Africa where MultiChoice Africa maintains operations. Entry forms can be obtained from any MultiChoice Resource Centres, the nearest MultiChoice office or copies can be downloaded from www.dstvstarawards.com. Entries may be prepared in English, French and Portuguese. The awards collateral will also be made available in three languages (English, French and Portuguese). Competition closes on 05 November 2015 and only entries submitted on the prescribed entry form will be eligible.

The DStv Eutelsat Star Awards comprises national and international adjudication. The first assessment of entries is at country level with a panel of local judges selecting country winners and runners-up who go through a round of preliminary judging which culminates in the selection of the final winners. A regional panel selects the top four entries. Last year the panel was chaired by the inspirational European Space Agency Astronaut, Paolo Nespoli, assisted by a panel of industry experts who commended the standard of the competition.

Country winners receive exciting country prizes and go on to compete against each other for the overall continental awards. The overall essay and poster winners are eligible for a once in a lifetime trip for two to the Eutelsat facilities in Paris, with the essay winner travelling onwards to witness a live rocket launch. Runners up will win a trip to South Africa as guests of MultiChoice Africa. Schools attended by the overall winners will also receive a DStv installation, including dish, television, state-of-the-art PVR decoder and free access to the DStv Education Bouquet.

The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony in February 2016. Check out last year's winner, Francine Mazala here.