Friday, August 20, 2010

NASA engineers inspire Mano Amiga students to reach for the stars

Cheers fill the Philippine Science Centrum auditorium as a woman in a space suit gracefully enters the room. The woman is Sabrina Singh, an engineer and astronaut trainer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA), and her audience are the students of Mano Amiga Academy and other public schools in Manila.

Singh, along with fellow NASA engineer Adam Gilmore, took a break from their work duties to be part of Asia's society Science Caravan: Reaching for the Stars. For two weeks, Singh and Gilmore will conduct "interactive science and space demonstrations in different public schools in order to inspire and motivate the youth."

The students listened attentively while Singh explained to them how astronauts eat and sleep in outer space. They all gasped in amazement when Gilmore showed them an actual footage of a space shuttle launch. The children got even more excited when he taught them how to make their own space rockets using paper, cardboard and glue.

"The objective of the program is to free the minds of our children to dream bigger and to have courage in pursuing them through education. By meeting Sabrina and Adam whose life stories are likewise inspiring, our children will get to meet in person people who have truly accomplished much," Asia Society executive director Arnel Casanova told the Philippines News Agency.

During the workshop, Singh asked whether anybody from the audience would like to be the first Filipino astronaut. Many raised their hand, including Mano Amiga student Joshua Dave Waras, who added that he would like to put the Philippine flag on the moon.

Singh smiled at the audience and said,"Just remember: If these people can do it, then you can do it, too. Anything is possible."

20 Mano Amiga students from Prep and Grade 1 were chosen to be part of Asia Society's Science caravan

NASA Engineer and Astronaut trainer Sabrina Singh tells the students that they can do anything if they work hard enough.

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