International Space Exploration Forum (Part 2)


Addressing the high school students as a Questioner for S-ISEF.



My previous post 「国際宇宙探査フォーラム International Space Exploration Forum (Part 1)」was on my experience as a Y-ISEF participant learning about the space industry and working with other talented young professionals to present our ideas in the Ideathon. In this post, I wish to share my experience as a Questioner for S-ISEF (ISEF for high school Students; and representing Singapore on the Y-ISEF Reception stage.

At S-ISEF, 7 teams of Japanese high school students prepared 3 minute presentations of their research on space exploration. I served as a Questioner alongside industry researchers, JAXA officials & technical experts during the Q&A session. The whole event was conducted in English, and I was so impressed by how the students were able to present and answer difficult topics with confidence and clarity! (See below for photos and a description of all the high school projects – some of the teams performed impressive experiments!)

Without any background on space exploration, it was a little difficult understanding the technical aspects of certain experiments, but I certainly learned a lot from the high school students. (For example, I did not know much about microgravity, parabolic flight, Zero G, the Magnus effect, or angular momentum generators, etc. discussed in the experiments. Don’t know what these terms mean either? Read below for some explanation!)

Aside from S-ISEF, as the only Singaporean to be invited to Y-ISEF, I also spoke on stage at the Y-ISEF Reception to introduce my personal background as a Singaporean together with Singapore’s history, main attractions, food culture, and of course Singlish! 

With other S-ISEF Questioners, including Kimiya Yui (Japanese Astronaut) and experts from space-related industries (Aerospace Engineer Danielle DeLatte and Stefan Siarov from the European Space Agency)

油井 亀美也 (JAXA宇宙飛行士)や外国宇宙機関関係者たちと一緒にS-ISEFで質問者として参加しました。

前のブログは「国際宇宙探査フォーラム International Space Exploration Forum (Part 1)」で、Y-ISEFの参加者としての経験について書きました。でも、私はISEFの色んなイベントの参加者であることに加えて、スピーカーや質問者としても関わっていました。Y-ISEFが終わった後、次世代を担う高校生を対象としたサイドイベント「S-ISEF」(ISEF for Students)にも「質問者」として誘っていただきました。



As a summary, these are the topics presented by the students:

·         [team 1] Gathering magnetic substances from comets [the team had set-up an experiment assessing magnetism in microgravity and launched it on a parabolic flight]

·         [team 2] Characteristic of angular momentum generator using liquid in microgravity [interesting concept to have AOCS using momentum generated in a liquid using a pump; experiments have flown on parabolic flight]

·         [team 3] Exploration utilizing multiple autonomous rovers with a master-and-slave hierarchy [this team made two small Arduino-based rovers experimenting with distributed systems]

·         [team 4] Construction of base for life exploration on Titan [this team studied the concept of potentially in-situ resource utilization on Titan]

·         [team 5] Study of Mars exploration airplane wings [counting on the thin atmosphere of Mars, the potential use of a wing with built-in mechanism ensuring Magnus effect was studied in a wind tunnel built by the students themselves]

·         [team 6] Microbe technology for long stay on Mars [biological system was proposed to ensure the availability of oxygen on Mars for potential future human settlement]

[team 7] Exploration of deep space by generating and supplying power on Io [a novel energy generation and distribution system was proposed using thermoelectric modules and transmitting energy using microwave energy


S-ISEFの高校生と質問者のグループ写真~ 牧島一夫(RIKEN)、佐々木裕未(MEXT)、と油井 亀美也 (JAXA宇宙飛行士)も質問者として参加しました。私以外、皆様は宇宙に関する専門者です…

S-ISEF group picture of all high school students and the questioners’ panel. Front row: Prof. Kazuo Makishima (RIKEN), Hiromi Sasaki (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), Kimiya Yui (JAXA Astronaut), Stefan Siarov (European Space Agency), Rachel Leng (myself) and Danielle DeLatte (Aerospace Engineer).


Did you know that Singapore’s vision of being “The Garden City” was was introduced by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on 11 May 1967 to transform Singapore into a city with abundant lush greenery and a clean environment in order to make life more pleasant for the people?

シンガポールは「The Garden City」の標語と呼ばれることをご存じですか。意味は、「緑あふれる都市 」ということです。Garden Cityは1967年 シンガポールが独立した直後に建国の父であるLee Kuan Yew(リークアンユーさん)が国策として取り入れた緑化政策です。

Speaking about my experiences as a Singaporean living, studying, and working abroad and also being a Miss Singapore representative


Had a session on “How to Speak Singlish” explaining some key Singlish words and phrases!

Singlishの勉強会も行われていましたね ^^ (前にSinglishについてブログで書きました!まだ読んでいない方は、是非Part 1Part 2をクリックしてご覧ください~)



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About Rachel

Rachel Leng is COO and Co-Founder of SeiRogai, Inc., a Tokyo-based business consultancy & media production company. Previously, she was Leader of Business Development on the Investment Management team at a Japanese private equity fund, as well as Policy Analyst at a top think tank in Seoul, South Korea.

As an East Asia specialist and former Miss Singapore titleholder, Rachel is passionate about the potential of media to educate and raise awareness about history, culture, art, business, and societal issues to enhance mutual understanding.

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