Robotics engineer Barbie joins the girls who code

admin   •   June 27, 2018   •   6156

Till photo of four robotics engineer barbies, flanking robot. (Image grabbed from Reuters video)

Barbie, the world’s most iconic doll, is venturing into coding skills in her latest career as a robotics engineer.

The new doll, launched on Tuesday (June 26), aims to encourage girls as young as seven to learn real coding skills, thanks to a partnership with the kids game-based computing platform Tynker, toymaker Mattel said.

Robotics engineer Barbie, dressed in jeans, a graphic T-shirt, denim jacket and wearing safety glasses, comes with six free Barbie-inspired coding lessons designed to teach logic, problem-solving and the building blocks of coding.

The lessons showgirls, for example, how to build robots, get them to move to a dance party, or do jumping jacks.

According to U.S. Department of Commerce statistics, only 24 percent of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) jobs were held by women in 2017.

Barbie has held more than 200 careers in her almost 60-year life, including a president, video game developer, and astronaut.

Tynker co-founder Krishna Vedati said in a statement that the company’s mission to empower youth worldwide made Barbie an ideal partner “to help us introduce programming to a large number of kids in a fun engaging way.” — Reuters

Duterte in ASEAN: South China Sea issue must be resolved peacefully in accordance with UNCLOS

Maris Federez   •   November 3, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joins other leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries during the 35th ASEAN Summit Plenary at Impact Exhibition and Convention Center in Nonthaburi, Thailand on November 2, 2019. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Malacañang has confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte joined his fellow heads of state and government of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in their plenary session in the evening of November 2.

A statement released by Malacanang on Sunday reads that President Duterte talked about the challenges that face ASEAN, such as, transnational crimes, advances in technology, protectionism and trade-related tension among ASEAN partners, environmental sustainability and geopolitical transformation.

The Palace said that the President thereafter shared his insights in addressing said challenges.

In elaborating geopolitical transformation, the Chief Executive made mention of the issue of the South China Sea “which he considers as one that is of strategic importance to ASEAN”, stressing his firm stance that it “must be resolved peacefully in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”

The President further mentioned that maintaining freedom of navigation and overflight above the South China Sea is a priority of ASEAN.

With its role as ASEAN-China Country Coordinator, the Philippines “vowed to do its utmost best to conclude the negotiations on the Code of Conduct — one that is effective and substantive — at the soonest possible time.”

The President also discussed the changing landscape of the Southeast Asian region “which recognizes the rise of the dragon (China) in a world still dominated by a soaring eagle (United States).”

The statement also confirmed that the Chief Executive called on ASEAN leaders not to choose — or be forced to choose — sides by pointing out what he calls a “strategic mistake” committed by the Philippines’ past leaderships, which he is now rectifying through his independent foreign policy.

The Palace further said that, for the remainder of this year’s ASEAN Summit, the President will likely continue elaborating and discussing the Philippines’ position in relation to important matters that are beneficial not just to the Filipino people but to the citizens of ASEAN member countries. (with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

DOST eyes research-based techs to address dengue problem

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 5, 2019

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) wants to look into research-based technologies to address the dengue problem in the country.

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said the department has funded several research projects and programs to aid in addressing the different aspects of the disease.

“Through the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, we have funded a number of research projects and programs consistent with the multi-prong approach in the control of dengue that address different aspects such as diagnosis and treatment,” he said.

One of the researches supported by the DOST is the Biotek M which is a rapid diagnostic test for dengue. This kit can diagnose dengue as early as two to three days after the onset of illness.

They are also looking into a possible herbal medicine for dengue.

“Dengue research and development has always been one of the priority research areas in the country. This is stated in the Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda led by the DOST,” said Sec. de la Peña.—AAC

Philippine Team wins 2018 NASA Space Apps Challenge

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 22, 2019

Philippine Team iNON bags first prize in the 2018 NASA Space Apps Challenge Galactic Impact category.  Team iNON members include (left-right): Matthew Concubierta, Revbrain Martin, Marie Jeddah Legaspi, and Julius Czar Torreda.

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Out of the 1,395 teams around the world, Philippine team iNON won first place in the 2018 NASA Space App Challenge Best Galactic Impact category with their ISDApp, an app that communicates crucial information about real-time weather and sea conditions to fisher folks.

Using NASA Globe observer data, the app will be able to provide life-saving weather information to fisherfolk’s cellphones without the use of internet.

U.S Ambassador to the Philippnes, Sung Kim congratulated the five-man team composed of Matthew Concubierta, Revbrain Martin, Marie Jeddah Legaspi, Leandro de Guzman and Julius Czar Torreda, for their achievement.

“I am deeply impressed by team iNON’s fantastic achievement in defeating teams from around the world to win first place in the Galactic Impact category of the NASA Space Apps Challenge.  They can inspire other Filipino youth to develop innovative solutions to problems in their own communities,” Ambassador Kim said.

Team Leader, Legaspi explained the importance of the said app which, according to him, “is a simple solution with an important purpose, which we believe helped it swim to success.  This is proof that even technology needs a heart.” — Aileen Cerrudo

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