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NASA Engineers to Filipino Students: Reach for the Stars
Mano Amiga students in Manila catch a glimpse of a wider field of dreams.

space shuttle
The students viewed footage of a space shuttle launch as part of the program.

Adapted from transFORM, the Mano Amiga Academy newsletter.

September 22, 2010. Manila, Philippines. 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 and her fellow NASA engineer Adam Gilmore took a break from their work duties to be part of the Asia Society’s 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 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.
kids at Mano Amiga Manila during presentation
Twenty Mano Amiga students from Prep and Grade 1 were chosen to be part of the Asia Society's Science Caravan.
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 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, Sing asked whether anybody from the audience would like to be the first Filipino astronaut. Many raised their hands, including Mano Amiga student Joshua Dave Waras, who added that he would like to put the Philippines flag on the moon.

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



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