CONTRIBUTING TO THE GROWTH OF ASTRONOMY IN THE PHILIPPINES
1st place (elementary level) by Earle Anderson Ng
Makati Hope Christian School
As a student, I can contribute to the growth of astronomy in the Philippines by telling other people about astronomy, by studying or reading books about astronomy, by observing the stars and planets and telling others about objects in the universe, and by joining organizations that help astronomy grow in the Philippines.
By telling other people about astronomy, I will be able to make some people be interested in astronomy and they will also make other people want to become astronomers.
By studying or reading books about astronomy, I will know more about it and that might help me to make learning about astronomy fun, and I will be able to get more people to like astronomy. And by doing this, when we grow up, we will be able to contribute more.
By observing the stars and planets and telling others about space, they might want to try and observe stars and planets also, which will help make the number of astronomers in the Philippines grow.
By joining organizations that help astronomy to grow, I will be able to encourage more people to join, and this will also be able to get their friends and families to join them.
By teaching astronomy to other students, they will also want to tell their close friends what they learned and astronomy will grow if more people know about it.
By donating money to organizations like the Philippine Astronomical Society, this will enable them to make more events and programs.
By telling friends the things that I learned by studying astronomy, more people will know more about this subject.
If more people know about astronomy, then astronomy will grow and we may be able to discover more things about space and the universe.
If we make learning astronomy fun and enjoyable, it will not be so boring ant it will be easier to remember facts and more people want to learn astronomy when it is fun.
By enjoying the learning of astronomy, I will be able to make people see that they can also enjoy learning about astronomy.
By helping people understand more about astronomy and by helping them if they don't know something about astronomy I can keep them from being discouraged because they will not want to learn about astronomy anymore if they do not understand what it means.
All in all, we must think of many ways to make astronomy grow.
2nd place (elementary level) by Athena Dominique Yu
Grace Christian College
As a child, I would look up at the sky and be fascinated by the numerous twinkling white points in the sky, along with the bright ball of pure white that would change shape on some nights. After asking my mother, I learned that the points were called "stars" and that the changing white ball was the moon. As I grew up, I became even more fascinated by the heavenly bodies. Books and encyclopedias satisfied my hunger to learn more about astronomy. The more I learned, the more I grew interested. Even if I learned numerous things about the sky, when I look up at the dark starry night sky, I still feel the same sense of wonder I felt when I looked at the sky for the very first time.
Astronomy, the study of the celestial bodies and outer space, has fascinated not only me but many other people as well, including ancient people in the ancient times.These ancient people would write down their observations about the sky and that is where astronomy first began. The credit for the discovery of astronomy cannot be credited to just one person, the same way as the recent discoveries in astronomy cannot be credited to just one person. It is a group of people who opened the door to understand astronomy. It is our responsibility to further open that door and anyone, whether old or young, can contribute to the growth of astronomy in his or her hometown. Students like me can find ways on how to contribute to the growth of astronomy in the Philippines.
There are numerous ways for us students to contribute to the growth of astronomy. We can contribute by being more aware of recent findings in asrtronomy. Students can also suggest to the respective principals of their schools to dedicate a week to learning about astronomy. In that week, they could go to planetariums, watch documentaries on astronomy, and do projects and experiments related to astronomy. Students can also participate in astronomy-related projects and organizations. You can have study sessions on astronomy with your friends, and you can donate money to astronomy-related causes and charities. There are numerous ways for us students to help in the growth of astronomy.
Just because you are a kid doesn't mean you can't do your part. It says in the Bible that you shouldn't let anyone look down on you because you are young. Young people can do great things, and with God's help, nothing is impossible. Students can find ways on how to further contribute to astronomy, thus opening even further our understanding of astronomy.
Now, whenever I look up at the night sky, not only am I fascinated but I am also thinking on how to contribute to the growth of astronomy. It is never too late, and I am not too young ro help and to make a difference not only in astronomy but in the world. As what Neil Armstrong said, "This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." This reminds us that to make a significant contribution to the growth of astronomy in the Philippines, we have to first start in our hometown, Through little ways like learning more about astronomy and having astronomy study sessions, we are contributing to the growth of astronomy in the Philippines.
LOVE ASTRONOMY, LOVE LIFE
3rd place (elementary level) by Nathan Lim
Chiang Kai Shek College
As a student, I have been very interested in Astronomy. Astronomy has been one of those subjects that sparked my interest. But here is a question I have been asking for a while now... How do I contribute to this subject? I mean millions of astronomers have, why can't I, as a student, also contribute to astronomy? Well, here is something I have thought of for a while now. How about encouraging people to study and like astronomy? I mean, I might not be the next Albert Einstein, but at least, I will be the reason the NEXT Albert Einstein does so, right?
There are millions of kids out there, most of them are a LOT smarter than me, so how about I encourage them to pursue astronomy as their ambition? In the Philippines alone, there are a hundred million people, most of those will be students, what more, in the entire world?
Through the years, Astronomy in the Philippines has flourished somehow. How? Through the unending research and hardwork put down by Philippine astronomers. This country was born to flourish in these kinds of subjects. So why not do your best to help the Philippines do so? Whatever we do in life, whether it be good or bad, is something related to our country. If you do good, you will make your country very proud. If you do bad, you bring shame to your country.
See how it's all connected?
So, if we make, say, a discovery, for example, an astronomer from the Philippines finds life in space, wouldn't that make the country proud? Discovering stuff or inventing stuff that are useful create this sense of pride for your country. Astronomy is one thing that made us who we are. It made us now that the Philippines is directly in the center of a chain of nations. How? Satellites. Another point for astronomy. Simply said, astronomy is a subject that seemed it made the world go round. Now about contributing to astronomy. How can you contribute?
Well, there are two ways - encourage other people to like astronomy or try it yourself. There are myriads of stars that seem to twinkle at night, why don't you explore them? You will soon see how beautiful astronomy is.
So in a nutshell, you do not need to be the next Albert Einstein or the next Isaac Newton to believe you actually did something to astronomy. All you need is a little patience and a little bit of hardwork. That's about all you need to love astronomy.
Well, that is all I can say for now. To actually love astronomy is to live life. We understand life better through astronomy. Our present understanding of our universe helps us live life to the fullest. So, dear Reader, go on! Spread the word! Show everyone how wonderful the subject is. Introduce astronomy to everyone you know. Show them the beauties of astronomy, teach them how to love astronomy. Teach them how to live life.
HIGH SCHOOL DIVISION
1st Place (high school level) by Steffi B. Rodriguez
Sta. Lucia High School
For the common folks, astronomy means so many things that it encompasses no significance to their daily lives at all.
For the common folks, astronomy means Neil Armstrong, space stations, space shuttles, studies for the geniuses of the like of Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, Tycho Brahe, Galileo Galilei and Albert Einstein, and all the fascinating things that greatest human minds can do. However, for me as a student, astronomy means a great, precious, and exciting memory.
Everytime that I open my computer and surf the worldwide web, news from NASA, ESA, ISRO, JASA and other space administration agencies contain news that only the first two to three paragraphs can be understood. Too complicated details are all part of this, but these important facts and details are often the first to be forgotten. Despite all these ignorance barriers, I still continue to be fascinated each time a new discovery or invention that took decades to work on becomes successful.
Right now, I believe that to promote astronomy, we have to change the mindset of the people.
They seem to believe that astronomy is for the geeks and the nerds and geniuses; paying little attention to the reality that astronomy is every second of their lives as it is an essential part and factor of our being.
Next is to encourage and to influence my peers to patiently read the science sections and articles in edition.cnn.com, national geographic.com, nasa.gov.ph, astronomy.com, and other science magazines and websites. Somehow, we can join astronomy groups and forums in Facebook, Twitter, and reliable blogs.
Another thing is to promote astronomy books. Now this is the hardest part I think because I too have none of these because they are expensive. However, we can still use the library, borrow from a friend, and study the materials and references of our teachers. Who knows, may be by the time that many students are interested with astronomy, publishers will publish cheap yet reliable and quality books in astronomy.
Astronomy may seem to be exclusive in this country because of the Rizal Technological University, University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, and the De La Salle University "elite" schools offering such courses but it isn't anymore. These universities are bound to promote, to help, and to include astronomy in the lives of the Filipinos, and they have never been the ones to exclude. Through the technology and mass distribution of information, we are all involved and can all be educated.
These words of mine are my pledge. I can do so by studying, actively participating, and effectively influencing others. I swear that by the time I'm finished writing this, I will begin doing what I knew what I and others can do. It is because I want the people, the Filipino people to know, that astronomy is all for the progress of the most wonderful things around us. I want them to know that gone are the days that this field is for the priest astronomers alone. I want them to be the people who are aware of the reasons of their everyday existence.
I will do so because I do believe that we all have the chance to learn astronomy because we are all equal under one sky and we are all role makers inside the infinite space we call universe.
DARE TO ACT: THE ASTRO SAGA
2nd place (high school level) by Jeryl Abong
Benigno Aquino Science High School
" I shall agree that the search for fundamental knowledge motivated by curiosity is as useful as the search for solutions to specific problems."
Chris Llwelyn Smith
It's been a new challenge for our country in the new century to maintain the integrity and vitality of the scientific and technological advancement that the Philippines has in the past 100 years. What's really alarming is that some concepts in science, technology, and explorations and voyages in space were not totally absorbed and developed. Obviously, a significant component of a healthy technological nation is a scientifically literate and well-educated public with fully equipped minds and effective knowledge toward scientific studies. They play a vital role in achieving a world-class system of space education.
Like geology, oceanography, and meteorology, the field of astronomy is such an important knowledge to obtain. It is the study of the heavenly objects and celestial bodies in space. From the atmosphere that covers us to the twinkling stars in the night, these all tackles astronomy. It serves also as the gateway science of people where it can introduce investigation of the natural environment via evidence-based reasoning. Moreover, it allows us to view the space beyond the natural world.
But one thing that is really terrifying is that only few to many people have enough learning in this study. Those who are professional and amateurs are just the ones who are trying to have much information about the whole outer space. For the past decades, the growing consensus about the seek for rejuvenation of science, mathematics, and the space exploration here in our country's schools led professional scientists to join with educators in seeking a careful look at how astronomy is taught and makes the impact in the whole society.
I, as a student, once has sought for knowledge in this field. After I have gained enough knowledge about astronomy, I was able to teach others and make them appreciate their scientific learning. What's best also is to let them appreciate those "basic" concepts in astronomy. Ask them, "Why do stars twinkle?" Can you feel the Earth rotating? Why is daytime seemingly longer than night? And, what is the purpose of astronomy? In asking these questions, they can be able to create visual imagiantion and have curiosity in their minds. Another thing also is that their sense of critical thinking ability is being enhanced. Just in simple ways, we can have a great impact on the young minds of people even in more convenient way.
The application of our daily lives can also be a great tool in promoting astronomy in the country. As what the ancient civilizations have, all of their activities and ideas were based on the primitive thoughts in astronomy. See, even our forefathers tackle about astronomy during those periods! For the present, people may realize the importance of astronomy as they work and live every day.
As a student, I can share my knowledge with others so that they can have enough learning. Try also to pay tribute to those great persons who have brilliant minds that unravel the mysteries of the world. Nevertheless, people may tend to appreciate the real essence of astronomy in several ways.
Despite its comparatively small size, the astronomical community can add significantly to the continuing efforts to strengthen science education. Astronomical concepts and images can create inspiring wonders and unique resonation with human questions regarding the space and the universe, as they have a universal appeal to people. Moreover, the unlimited concepts of astronomy can contribute to a strong work force in the 21st century.
There are so many ways on how to enhance astronomical study in the country. But it should start within ourselves. Have much information about this very important science and continue to spread what you've got. In this way, we can create influence to the minds of many people with regard to space.
Just what Henri Poincare said, "Astronomy shows how small our bodies and how large our minds." Make this a guide in creating an innovation in the field of astronomy. The application of astronomy in our lives and the discovery of several theories, stars, heavenly bodies, and ideas will be intact and developed if we embrace this learning. Do not end your curiosity in just what you want to know but also in the things that others would want to know.
Dare to act. Absorbing the knowledge of astronomy is as simple as you point your fingers to the sky and try to connect the stars, thus forming constellations. The same thing as you obtain the ideas in astronomy, your just forming ideas in your bright mind and for the advancement of it.
GROWING ASTRONOMY FOR THE FUTURE: A WALKTHROUGH FOR THE FILIPINO YOUTH
3rd place (high school level) by Gelina Rose Bougon
Muntinlupa Science High School
Astronomy. The study of the heavenly bodies and the solar system we belong in. And we, as citizens of the Philippines (and Earth), have been blessed with a wonderful view of the Great Yonder. I myself am guilty of taking advantage of this glorious view. On some nights, I go out with my little sister and we try to find constellations. But, sadly, I can't really say the same for others. How many people can you find that will say that their favorite field of science is Astronomy? Even if the field has already achieved so much over the last few years, discovering planets, possible habitats for life forms in outer space, and even in going so far as being featured in top-grossing films like Star Wars or Star Trek, why hasn't Astronomy made that big of a bang here in the Philippines? How can you, how can we grow Astronomy here in our homeland?
Take a Interest in It. Go flip through a book or look at the stars. Imagine life on other planets. Those words may have rhymed, but my poetry fit aside, just by having the initiative to see things from a different perspective (if you think astronomy is boring), you might just change your mind. I mean, just look at an astrophysics or All About Stars book. Honestly, what's not to like? It's an explosion of beautiful exposes for a world unlike ours but a part of our won universe. It's just... mindblowing!
Who knows, may be one night (when you finallly try to give Astroworld a chance), a curious kiddo will appreciate you, tug at your sleeve and ask, "Ano po iyon? What are you looking at?" And as tht child stares up into the tumbling dark skies with those curious eyes while his or her parents apologize for the kid's interruption, he or she might just think of more questions about an enigmatic night sky, or he or she might dream about it, zipping through stars on a rocketship... and boom! You've grown astronomy in the Philippines by a kid. As Neil Armstrong once said, " One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Next up...
Visit Astroplaces - I don't mean go hop on a rocket and live in Jupiter. I just mean to say you shouldn't just talk the talk, you should also walk the walk. Go to the Space section of a museum, trot along to a planetarium, invite some friends to go along with you. You won't just enjoy yourself (who doesn't like visitng foreign places, albeit replicas of these giant planets only, suspended on a string or something... Well, it's still fun). You'll contribute to the Astronomical Society as well! And lastly...
Spread the Word. Ah, words. The fastest form of communication in our galaxy (at a close range). As much as we want to give out flyers saying "Astronomy is cool! Blue stars are hot!" well, we can't. As students and humans, let's face it - we have limitations. We can't build our own planetarium or be the curator of our own space museum. But we can do something, and we have characteristics that can help.
We've got time to spare; we've got bundles of energy, just waiting to be put to good use; we've got the courage to do things that adults are afraid to do. We are comets just raring to zip around the world every few year or so. My point is, we can do things. A lot of things. I've tried to. Have you?
(A little secret for you. If you follow this walkthrough, that kid will thank you.)