After two weeks of exploring the cosmos with students, teachers, and astronomy enthusiasts, the University of the Philippines Astronomical Society (UP AstroSoc) capped off this year’s National Astronomy Week (NAW) with a big bang.
Following Big Bang: Astronomy Quiz Show wherein 30 teams of high school students competed in three rounds of astronomy-related questions to win a grand prize of ₱5,000, UP AstroSoc held its awarding ceremony on Mar. 5 to recognize the winners of the quiz show, as well as the other contests that took place from Feb. 21.
Opening the event with a speech of gratitude, Project Director Paul de Silva thanked the participants and partner organizations who took part in UP AstroSoc’s second virtual NAW celebration, sharing that “for the second year that we are celebrating NAW virtually, our organization continues to find ways to bring astronomy to students and the general public through events that enhance astronomical knowledge and expand astronomy awareness [...] Our hope is that by organizing events like this, we can promote greater interest and appreciation [for] astronomy in the cultural and societal evolution of humankind.”
Hosts by Jco Igdanes and Vinnie Vinculado commenced the awarding ceremony with an introduction of the speakers in Parallax: A Teacher’s Workshop which was an online webinar held on Feb. 26 with STAMINA4Space Program Leader Maricor Soriano, Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) researcher Atchong Hilario, and PhilSA geologist James Refran who discussed the importance of space and sustainability.
Igdanes and Vinculado also presented the artists and scientific experts who served as judges for Star Trails: Astrophotography Contest and Artists’ Showcase, as well as Big Bang: Astronomy Quiz Show. Following the certificate of appreciation presentation for the judges was the announcement of winners for each contest who were rewarded with celestron binoculars, cash prizes, and vouchers from partner organizations.
The winners are as follows:
Star Trails: Astrophotography Contest
- People’s Choice Award: “Maningning na Takipsilim” by Eleuterio A. Andal Jr.
- 3rd Place: “The Sky and the Sea” by Jamir Dwayne Andam
- 2nd Place: “The Orion Molecular Cloud Complex” by Jan Adrian Lim
- 1st Place: “Take Care, Drifter” by John Patrick Alota
Star Trails: Artists’ Showcase
- 3rd Place: “The Lost Travellers” by Phoebe Rosete
- 2nd Place: “Aramis” by Keith Fajilan
- 1st Place: “Bathala (Jupiter)” by Natasha Sarmiento
Big Bang: Astronomy Quiz Show
- 3rd place: Sta. Lucia High School (Team A)
- 2nd place: Saint Jude Catholic School (Team B)
- 1st place: Philippine Science High School Main (Team A)
Facebook users who also participated in the daily online trivia game held on UP AstroSoc’s official Facebook page from Feb. 28 to Mar. 4 were also awarded in the ceremony. The following users were recognized:
Orionids: Online Astronomical Trivia Quiz Game
- Day 1 Winner: Almond Lita
- Day 2 Winner: Julius
- Day 3 Winner: Hannah Arangote
- Grand Winner: Francezca Rae Airoso
To officially conclude this year’s NAW celebration, overall UP AstroSoc Coordinator Lerissah Lim gave her closing remarks wherein she expressed her gratitude for the students, teachers, and space enthusiasts who participated in the event.
“The outlook of our country for astronomy is looking great and we hope to continue working hand-in-hand with you as we broaden the awareness, interest, knowledge, and understanding of astronomy amongst students and the general public.”
National Astronomy Week is an annual event held by the UP Astronomical Society, a non-profit, non-political, non-partisan organization in the University of the Philippines-Diliman, to promote and improve science and astronomy awareness in the Philippines.