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10 November 2016

Competing students from the Philippines will try to make use of home court advantage as they go against their international counterparts in the Can Satellite and Water Rocket Competitions to be held during the 23rd Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) Side Event on 12-13 November 2016 in Los Baños, Laguna.

Schools representing the Philippines include Rizal National Science High School and Benigno Aquino High School for the CanSat Competition, as well as Sampaguita Village National High School, Unson National High School, and Tuntungin Putho National High School for the Water Rocket Event. Said schools secured their spots by winning the local competitions held at the 2016 World Space Week celebrations. Rizal National Science High School had previously represented the country in the Water Rocket Event in the 2012 and 2015 APRSAF held in Malaysia and Indonesia, respectively.  

This is the first time that the APRSAF and its side events will be held in the country. The 23rd session of the Forum will be held on 15-18 November at Sofitel, Manila with the theme “Building a Future through Space Science, Technology and Innovation.”

Science Education Institute (SEI) Director Dr. Josette Biyo said the hosting comes at an opportune time when the Philippines is strengthening its efforts in establishing its national space agency, one that “necessitates educating the youth in the value of space science.”

“The Philippines has been represented in the APRSAF for many years already through our space expert, Dr. Rogel Mari Sese. This hosting is timely as we are making our own mark in space science through the Diwata-1 microsatellite and soon, hopefully, by the establishment of our own space development agency,” said Biyo.

The CanSat Competition and the Water Rocket Event are activities led by the Space Education Working Group of the APRSAF, headed by Biyo, as host country. Biyo said the Filipino students taking part in these activities would be able to see up-close what other countries are doing in space science education, a topic not yet fully integrated in the Philippine curriculum. 

“We hope that this hosting impacts our youth positively as we really push for a national space program for the country,” she said. (30)