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05 October 2015

Students from 12 public and private high schools in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal and Laguna are set to launch their Can Sats—soda can-sized satellites that can gather basic atmospheric data—that they assembled in more than a month,  in the country’s first-ever CanSat Competition to be held in celebration of the 17th World Space Week in Los Baños, Laguna.

Launched in August this year, the Can Satellite Competition aims to entice  students to go into space science studies by letting them experience actual satellite development process, launching, data collection and transmission, and mission data analysis that will teach them the basics of weather forecasting.

Annually celebrated every 4-10 October, the World Space Week is commemorated to provide a venue for students and educators to learn more about space science and its benefits to humankind as declared by the UN General Assembly in 1999. This year's celebration follows the theme "Discovery" and will feature deep space exploration such as the discoveries of new galaxies, exoplanets, asteroids and comets.

Dr. Josette Biyo, Director of the Science Education Institute (SEI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST),  said the Can Sat Competition is an out-of-the-box strategy that hopes to inspire students to not just appreciate space science and satellite development but also to encourage them to hone their potentials as future scientists and engineers.

“Space science plays a major role discovering things and phenomena that helps us better understand our world and our existence,” said Biyo. “The fact that a lot of countries are heavily investing in explorations and in their space science research, it means that it gives us humans a lot of benefits in our daily lives.”

The 2015 World Space Week will be highlighted by a talk of Dr. Arquiza, a DOST Balik Scientist who conducted the highly regarded research entitled “Advanced Life Support for Human Space Exploration”, poster making competition, and the annual National Water Rocket Competition. The winning team in the water rocket plum, along with the winning poster entry, will participate in the Water Rocket Launching event at the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) to be held in December in Bali, Indonesia.

“This event is historic and we hope that this would push our kids to be space scientists in the future. We hope to sustain the impact of this activity in terms of developing space science education in the Philippines,” Biyo disclosed.

The competition and the World Space Week celebration are components of  the Philippine Space Science Education Program (PSSEP) implemented by the DOST-SEI, which seeks to create awareness among the students on career opportunities in the various fields of science and engineering, including space science, that would raise standards and address skill shortages in this discipline. (30)