On point to the target and off to Malaysia. 

This is the feat of the duo from Rizal National Science High School (RNHS) after winning the National Water-boosted Rocket Competition last recently at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Freedom Park Lower Grounds. 

RNHS’ Daniel Paulo F. Dela Cruz and Alyssa N. Rigon with their Coach, Elmer B. Villadiego, bested 12 other teams after recording 5.82m near the target. The target was placed 80 meters away from the water rocket launchers. The contestant’s rocket landing nearest to the target is the winner. 

Alitagtag College, Inc. and Philippine Science High School – Central Visayas Campus finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively. 

With the victory, RNHS took home a cash prize of P10,000 and becomes the country’s representative to the Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) Water Rocket Event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this December. 

SEI Director Dr. Filma G. Brawner said the competition aims to give the students a “wow moment” in learning space science concepts in hopes of motivating them to go into the fields of science and technology. 

“This competition brings a ‘cool factor’ in driving these kids to be more interested in going into science and technology, particularly space science,” said Brawner. “It is a contest that also tests how these students are able to apply their learning in physics in creating and launching their water rockets.” 

The activity was part of the 2012 World Space Week (WSW) celebrations organized by the Science Education Institute of the Department of Science and Technology under its Philippine Space Science Education Program and in partnership with the Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center. 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. 

Meanwhile, the annual On-the-Spot Poster Making Contest also served as highlight of the festivities. The poster making contest, which was participated in by 12 elementary students from six Los Baños-based schools, was done under this year's Space Week theme "Space for Human Safety and Security". 

Among the bets, Ye Jin Lee of South Hill School came out with the best poster to bring home a P3,000 cash prize. 

Other activities held throughout the week include an astrophotography exhibit at the Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center, and lectures regarding space science and disaster management as well as astronomy education by UPLB Astrophysicist Dr. Rogel Mari Sese. The WSW also paved way for the “Star Party” where members of different astronomy-related organizations installed 17 telescopes—the largest assembly of telescopes in the country to date—to view the night sky together. 

“We hope that through this celebration we are able to inspire our students to follow the steps of the likes of Dr. Reina[belle] Reyes and Dr. [Rogel Mari] Sese for we need more astrophysicists like them in the country,” Brawner disclosed. (30)