Wandering through the realms of the cosmos, pondering its huge vastness

Science and Technology Updates

National Astronomy Week 2012 in the Philippines

The National Astronomy Week (NAW), which is celebrated annually every third week of February (Presidential Proclamation No. 130), falls on 20-24 February 2012 this year.  The theme of this year celebration is “Viewing the Sky… Enhancing our Knowledge!”.

Lots of fun and educational activities have been prepared by different amateur astronomy groups this year which makes this year’s celebration more exciting.

Below is a list of NAW 2012 activities organized by various Philippine astronomy organizations.

For more information or for other inquiries, kindly leave a comment or visit the online pages of the respective organizations.

Clear skies and happy NAW!

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PAGASA will celebrate the NAW with a week-long activity which will be highlighted by the following:

1.  Free Planetarium Show
2.  Stargazing and Telescoping Sessions
3.  Star Party contest for (8) Public & Private School Science Club Members at the PAGASA  
     Observatory (First-come, first-serve basis)
4.  Distribution of posters in Astronomy to visiting schools at the Planetarium and
     Astronomical Observatory, free of charge.

Reservations for the Planetarium will be made at the PAGASA Central Office on a first-come, first-served basis.

Stargazing and telescoping sessions will be from 7:00 to 11:00 pm every night at the Astronomical Observatory, UP Compound, Diliman, Quezon City.  The public, especially the students and teachers are invited to the sessions.

2012 Star Party Contest for Highschool Students

In connection with the celebration of the National Astronomy Week on 20-24 February 2012, The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), will conduct a Star Party Contest for the eight (8) Public & Private High Schools (first-come, first-served basis) on 24 February 2012 at 3:00 P.M. until dawn at the PAGASA Astronomical Observatory, U.P. Compound, Diliman, Quezon City.

The contest will be open to high school students, both public and private from Metro Manila.  The maximum number of contestants is nine (9) students who should be members of their Science Club and one (1) Science Adviser.

Star Party Contest Rules and Regulation will be given/discussed upon registration of the eight (8) participating schools on 24 February 2012.

Prizes at Stake:

1st Prize:                    P5,000.00
2nd Prize:                   P4,000.00
3rd Prize:                    P3,000.00
5 Consolation Prize:     P2,000.00

Certificates of participation will be issued to all contestants.

For further inquiries, please contact Engr. Dario Dela Cruz, Chief, Space Science and Astronomy Section at telephone number 434-2715 or visit our website at http://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph

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Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP)

For more inquiries on ALP NAW activities, please contact NAW Chairman / SecretaryChristopher Louie Lu at (0919) 3057176 or ALP President James Kevin Ty at (0917) 8559863 or (0922) 8999ALP (257).

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 Philippine Astronomical Society (PAS)

Registration for the different competitions can be done by e-mailing your confirmation together with the list of participants to pasnaw2012@yahoo.com. You may contact PAS President, Ian Allas at 09063165154 or 09391682834.

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UP Astronomical Society (UP AstroSoc)

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UPLB Astronomical Society (UPLB AstroSoc)

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Rizal Technological University (RTU)

National Astronomy Week Celebration in RTU:

Feb. 14: Opening

Feb. 15: Planetarium Show

Feb. 16: Exhibit Day

Feb. 17: Closing

The Mind Museum…finally!

Great news to my fellow Filipinos!

After much anticipation, The Mind Museum, the Philippines’ first world-class science museum was finally unveiled via a pre-launch reception this month.

It will be then officially open to the public in March 2012.

According to its curator,  the said 12,500-square-meter facility was fully funded by private donations from corporate sponsors and family and individual donors “who share the passion of making science come alive.”

To those who would like to visit the museum, it is located on the 12,500 sqm prime lot of JY Campos Park on 3rd Ave in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.


The facility has 250 interactive exhibits and is divided into five main galleries, namely the Atom Gallery, Earth Gallery, Life Gallery, Technology Gallery and Universe Gallery (which of course, is my favorite!).

image courtesy of OurAwesomePlanet.com

The Universe Gallery contains a unique planetarium that simulates stargazing from the point of view of literally lying down on a bed beneath the stars.

The Universe Gallery

Last May 2010, I invited some friends to visit The Roving Space Shell – a travelling inflatable dome – in Market! Market! in Global City, Taguig.

The 8-meter diameter Roving Space Shell is from Cosmodome Australia and is the choice of many universities and research institutions around the world, including NASA. This inflatable planetarium can sit up to 50 people comfortably with a 360- degree view of the shows through a high definition projector.

It has provided the public a sneak preview of what The Mind Museum will be offering to the public when it opens.

The Mind Museum is a P1 billion project conceived in 2006 by Bonifacio Art Foundation, Inc. (BAFI), the group in charge of Bonifacio Global City’s public art program. It is brought to reality by companies, families and individuals who heeded the call to support Science education in the country as a way to help economic growth in the long term. It is envisioned to be the Philippine’s center for the public understanding of Science where facts are presented in clear, exciting, and engaging way.

Learn more about The Mind Museum…

Help Build and be a Donor…

Another Asteroid Named after a Young Filipino

Congratulations to another great Filipino who was given recognition for his outstanding work! 😀

An asteroid will be named after Miguel Arnold Reyes, a young Filipino student who won the second grand award in the recent 2011 International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held in Los Angeles, California.

Miguel Arnold Reyes (left) and Angeli Joyce Dy bested more than a thousand students from 65 countries in the 2011 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held in Los Angeles, California, USA. Credit: Nykko Santos - GMA News

Reyes, who graduated from the Philippine Science High School, also received from the Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology $1,500 as prize for his research “Synthesis and Characterization of Composite Plastics from Thermoplastic Starch and Nano-sized Calcium Phosphate for Film Packaging” which seeks to produce biodegradable plastic for film packaging from a composite of thermoplastics from cornstarch and nano-sized phosphate particles.

Among Filipinos who had a privilege to have asteroids named after them were former Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Director Dr. Roman Kintanar, Edwin Aguirre, Imelda Joson, Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus Director Josette Biyo, Allan Noriel Estrella, Jeric Valles Macalintal, Prem Vilas Fortran Rara and Father Victor Badillo.

Mind Museum Volunteers needed!

A note reposted from The Mind Museum’s Facebook page 😀

The Mind Museum is currently looking for interested applicants who will serve as Mind Museum Representatives in the following:

1. Roving Space Shell

  • Man the Mind Museum’s Traveling Exhibit entitled “ROVING SPACE SHELL” (an 8-meter inflatable planetarium)
  • this will be toured around schools in the Bicol Region from September 13, 2010 to March 4, 2011 with the following breaks when the planetarium will be brought back to Manila:
    • Oct. 25-Nov. 5 (Sem Break) and
    • Dec. 20 – Jan 7 (Christmas Break)
  • Partners: Pyxis Astronomy Educational Services
  • Areas to visit: Sorsogon Province, Masbate, Tabaco, Legazpi, Ligao, Albay, Catanduanes, Iriga, Naga, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte
  • Responsibilities:
    • Set up the inflatable planetarium in the different schools identified by Dep Ed in the Bicol Region
    • make sure that the planetarium and its paraphernalia are taken care of at all times
    • take turns in operating the planetarium shows
    • assist in controlling the crowd who will watch the planetarium shows
    • submit accomplished reports based on the forms given
    • help promote the Mind Museum in the areas visited by the traveling exhibit
  • Package Inclusion:
    • Free transportation, accommodation and food in all destinations
    • Free Mind Museum polo shirts that will be worn during the operation of the Roving Space Shell
    • P15,000 monthly allowance (net of tax)

2. “The Philippines through National Geographic’s Lenses (1898-1966)” and National Geographic’s interactive “Live Curious Campaign”

  • man the Mind Museum booth during mall hours (10AM to 8PM) for the duration of the exhibit from Oct. 3-24, 2010 at the following malls:
    • Oct. 3-4 – Greenbelt 5
    • Oct. 7-10 – Glorietta 4
    • Oct. 14-17 – Bonifacio High Street
    • Oct. 21-24 – Trinoma
  • request mall goers to sign up in the sign-up sheets provided by The Mind Museum (TMM)
  • submit accomplished daily report forms to TMM
  • Incentives:
    • Free Mind Museum polo shirts that will be worn at all times while manning the Mind Museum booth
    • receive daily allowance of P500 to cover transportation and meals

For those interested, please contact me at 818-3601 loc. 3205 or email me your application letter and resume at kai.pobre@themindmuseum.org.

Thank you.

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The Mind Museum at Taguig is the first-world class science museum in the Philippines that will soon open in 2011.