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04 October 2016

The Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) is set to continue the momentum of last year’s historic celebration of the World Space Week (WSW) with the second installment of the Can Satellite (Can Sat) Competition.

The competition, along with the annual National Water-boosted Rocket Launching and Poster Making Contests, will highlight the 18th WSW celebration, which will be brought back to Los Baños, Laguna on October 5-7. 

The Can Sat competition, which has versions in Europe, the United States and Asia, was adopted by the country beginning last year as a platform to excite high school students in space science through development and launching of soda can-sized satellites that can gather basic atmospheric data. 

“It guides students to the actual satellite development process—from designing, building, launching, up to collecting, transmitting, and analyzing data,” said Dr. Josette Biyo, Director of DOST-SEI. “It is our way of making them interested in space science.”

The competition was jumpstarted with a weeklong training workshop done last Aug 29 to September 2. There, the 15 participating teams built their can sats; after which, the teams made use of the succeeding weeks leading to the WSW to test and improve their can sats. 

Biyo noted that the competition is improved this year to make it more challenging for the kids.

“The first Can Sat Competition made us learn a lot and we used those learning to challenge the students even more. We want to integrate problem solving and strengthen critical analysis in the activity so that they will really have a total experience not just in the engineering aspect, but also in the meteorology part,” said Biyo.

Laguna-based high school students, meanwhile, will compete in the National Water-boosted Rocket Launching while elementary students will compete in the Poster Making Contest. The top two winning teams in the water rocket plum, along with the winning poster entry, will participate in the Water Rocket Launching event at the 23rd Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-23) to be held in November here in the country.

As host country of the APRSAF-23, the Philippines also included an International Can Sat Competition as one of the side events. The top three teams from the national competition will represent the country in the international plum. 

“The Can Sat Competition is a welcome addition to the APRSAF and a great opportunity for us to see where we are, especially that some of the countries joining the event have their own can sat contests in their respective country,” she added.

The World Space Week is globally 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. Its celebration is done under the Philippine Space Science Education Program (PSSEP), which seeks to create awareness among the students on career opportunities in space science. (30)