16 October 2014
With a great crowd cheering behind them, Palawan State University (PSU) Laboratory High School hit the bull’s eye to gain a ticket to represent the Philippines to the Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) Water Rocket Competition in Japan this on November 29-30, 2014.
Beating 19 other teams from Palawan, Pampanga, Cebu and Iloilo, the tandem of Nur Alan Pavlo Barte and Reniel Rosaceña, with coach McArthur Maravilla, hit the target’s center and be the first Palawan school to be the Philippine contingent to the APRSAF.
“The whole experience is awesome. We didn’t expect to win and we didn’t expect that we’ll be going to Tokyo to represent the country,” said the duo who also brought home P10,000 cash prize.
Palaweños will get a plenty dose of space science treats this October.
The Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) is set to engage schools from Palawan and some schools from Metro Manila and Cebu to the 2014 World Space Week (WSW) celebrations to be held on 8-10 October at The Legend Palawan Hotel and the Palawan State University.
Annually celebrated every 4-10 October, the WSW 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. In the Philippines, the WSW is being celebrated under DOST-SEI’s Philippine Space Science Education Program (PSSEP).
A total of 42,987 hopefuls will troop to different testing centers in the country to try and clinch a slot for the 2015 Undergraduate Scholarship slots offered by the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI). This year’s number reach an all time high and maintained the increasing trend in the number of applicants in the past years as it exceeded the 35,562 and 27,224 recorded for the 2014 and 2013 exams, respectively. DOST-SEI credits this trend to the increased awareness to the value and benefits of venturing into scientific careers.
The national qualifying examination for DOST-SEI’s two undergraduate scholarship programs, namely, the Republic Act 7687 or the Science and Technology Scholarship Act of 1994, and the Merit Scholarship Program will be administered on 21 September 2014.
SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo said the massive promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses through their many programs and projects helped increase the number of applicants to the Scholarship Program.
Having witnessed elementary and high schools students showcase their “genius play” in the recently held 13th Philippine Robotics Olympiad (PRO), Science Education Institute Director Dr. Josette Biyo expressed optimism in the future of robotics in the country.
Watching in the sideline of a miniature soccer court where robots made by high school robot enthusiasts aimed for goals while elementary wizards demonstrate some of their innovative robot creations in their respective booths, Biyo said she was amazed by how far the robotics program in many schools in the country has developed.
“In the Philippines, there is a lot of interest and potential for robotics. We can mention the winnings we had in both the local and international robotics competitions as proofs. We can also highlight the increased participation of schools in various robotics contests as another sign that the field is indeed on the rise,” said Biyo.