THE United States Embassy in the Philippines, in partnership with the American Corner at Ateneo de Davao University, hosted the 2020 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Apps Challenge in Davao October 2 to 4.
The three-day program opened with a “virtual data boot camp” featuring mentors from the U.S. Embassy, NASA, Womensphere, Ateneo de Davao University, and alumni of U.S. government exchange programs. The U.S. Embassy, in partnership with its American Corners across the Philippines, also supported NASA Space Apps Challenge events in Binan, Cebu, Manila, Mapandan, Pampanga, and Soccsksargen.
The bootcamp offered participating Philippine teams shared tools and resources to use as they prepared for the two-day hackathon focused on finding solutions to one of six NASA-identified challenges: making observation data more accessible, informing others about scientific and historical information, sustaining our home planet and human life, creating awareness on planetary exploration, confronting issues at global levels using technology, and connecting to examine methods for communicating with one another. Program partners included the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative (YSEALI), the Department of Science and Technology, Amazon Web Services, FabLab Mindanao, and the U.S. Government Alumni Association. NASA Space Apps this year is organized in collaboration with other space agencies such as CSA, CNES, JAXA, and ESA, with more than 3,800 teams participating in 251 Space Apps events globally.
“None of this would be possible without that innovative mindset,” Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer Pauline Anderson said during the closing session. “Never stop developing those ideas.” The NASA Space Apps Challenge encourages talented coders, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, and technologists to use NASA’s open data to create open source solutions to address key challenges on Earth and in space. For more information about American Spaces Philippines, visit americanspacesph.org.