FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NSS and UNESCO team up to bring space education to the Philippines
Meeting with Secretary of Science and Technology highlights project kickoff
Manila, Philippines, November 1, 2004 -
The National Space Society and UNESCO announced the donation of six telescopes to school districts across the Philippines. The donations were given as part of three information and demonstration sessions on space education organized by UNESCO's Space Education Program, in collaboration with the Philippines Science Education Institute.
The telescope donations were made possible by a grant from Meade Telescope Corporation, and were provided through NSS's Permission to Dream astronomy outreach program. Two telescopes each will be used by school districts in Manila, Zamboanga, and Pangasinan.
"We are proud to join with UNESCO's Space Education Program to bring the wonder of space to Filipino students," said George Whitesides, Executive Director of the NSS. "We hope that this will be one component in an overall strategy of space education for the Philippines."
During the week-long site visit, presentations on space education were made to over 3500 students. The students enthusiastically participated in wide-ranging discussions on the current state of space science, technology and exploration.
Highlighting the donations were meetings with the Philippines Secretary of Science and Technology, Dr. Estrella Alabastro, as well as with Dr. Ester Ogena, Director of the Science Education Institute and her deputy, Dr. Filma Brawner. Additional discussions with former Philippines Senator Leticia Shahani and the Mayor of Zamboanga City, Celso Lobregat, were also productive.
"This information session on space education is the first of a series of such sessions that UNESCO is organizing in developing countries", said Yolanda Berenguer, Coordinator of UNESCO's Space Education Program. "The enthusiastic reaction of Filipino students and teachers during this event clearly shows the potential of space as both a subject and a tool in the science curriculum."
The educational event brought together experts from around the world, including Professor Li Jing, of Beijing Normal University; Mr. Kolbjorn Bekkelund, of the ALOMAR Laboratory of the Norwegian Space Center; and Mr. Dennis Stone, of NASA and World Space Week.
About the National Space Society:
For more information about NSS, and how to join or donate, visit: http://www.nss.org.
About the UNESCO Space Education Program:
For more information about the SEP, visit: http://www.unesco.org/science/earthsciences/sep.htm
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Photos from the event: