“ROCKET science.” The term sounds way more fun and interesting than “college algebra.” This is maybe because the former is getting better marketing, representation and exposure in pop culture today.
Although kidding aside, there is much more to rocket science than just launching a space ship into the borders of zero gravity. Outer space is a never-ending, constantly expanding and highly intricate venue to explore. So it’s a pretty serious issue.
Last month, an international space education team of experts from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) came to conduct a space education workshop for students.
“We organized one workshop in the country before around 2004. We visited Manila, Pagsanjan and Zamboanga City. Now we’re here in Cebu for our second official visit in the country,” said Yolanda Berenguer, the Space Education Program (SEP) coordinator of Unesco.
“Unesco thought that this was the only way for us to reach the maximum number students and teachers—through workshops,” said Yolanda. Then she went on to share about how other countries are doing with regard to their space programs.
“You’d be surprised in Vietnam—we went there in 2006. By 2008, they’ve already created a space commission,” she shares.
Unesco is working hand in hand with the Department of Science and Technology Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) for their space education workshops in the Philippines.
With science and technology improving by the hour, there is a greater need for a bigger workforce when it comes to the study of outer space. Not only are the students encouraged to pursue space-related studies abroad, but Yolanda even believes that starting something similar right here in the Philippines is possible.
“Number one, we just have to keep going. Space exploration is being done right now and there is no turning back. Two, the present space scientists are already retiring. We want to prepare the next generation of space scientists,” she said.
When asked about whether they are encouraging students to pursue space-related abroad first, Yolanda replied: “I think it’d be nicer to do space activities in the Philippines first. But our job is to promote, it’s really up to the government now.”
The SEP coordinator added: “There’s so much possibility for the Philippines.“