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Rayong Students Wanwalee Channgam and Phuttima Prakobchart Win Kibo-ABC Award for Space Exercise Project

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Imagine soaring to the stars from a classroom seat! That’s exactly what happened for two exceptional students from Rayong, Thailand, who recently snagged the prestigious Kibo-ABC Award with their out-of-this-world project for the Asian Try-Zero G 2023 programme. This saga of scientific ambition and youthful curiosity unfolded when their experiment was broadcast from Japan’s Kibo module at the International Space Station (ISS) earlier this year.

Chularat Tanprasert, the eloquent Executive Vice-President of the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), was gleaming with pride as she announced the triumph. The winning project, catchy named “Starfish Exercise for Microgravity,” was the brainchild of Wanwalee Channgam and Phuttima Prakobchart. These two bright Mathayom Suksa 6 (Year 12) students from Rayongwittayakorn School went above and beyond in conceptualizing a space exercise that was not only motion-capture-worthy but also groundbreaking in its potential health benefits for astronauts.

So, what exactly did these youthful masterminds concoct? Picture this: an astronaut gracefully mimicking the starfish, an exercise perfectly suited to the floating freedom of microgravity. Their project was among the 14 highly-anticipated experiments conducted on the Kibo module by none other than Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa in February.

Ms. Wanwalee spilled the beans on their rigorous preparation, shedding light on the substantial research and intricate diagrams that went into their submission. Each diagram was a dance of precision, detailing how every movement should be executed, leaving no room for misinterpretation. The attention to detail was meticulous, almost poetic in its execution. And for that, they thanked Satoshi Furukawa, the charismatic astronaut who took the time to elucidate the results, propelling their understanding to stratospheric heights.

Now, let’s pivot to another fascinating experiment that caught the judges’ eyes: “Water Spheres and Electrostatic Force,” a captivating proposal that earned the Crew Award. This brainteaser came from Chayanin Lertudomsak, another bright Mathayom Suksa 6 student, hailing from Suankularb Wittayalai School in bustling Bangkok. Picture Chayanin’s surprise—utterly gobsmacked yet immensely proud—when he heard of his win. “I’m overwhelmed and really proud. The activity is a unique chance to broaden my experience and knowledge,” Chayanin beamed, echoing the sentiments of every aspiring scientist globally.

The Crew Award celebrates more than just scientific brilliance; it shines a spotlight on the imagination and tenacity of youth, reminding us that the future of space exploration is in capable hands—whether they’re from the glittering skyscrapers of Bangkok or the serene beaches of Rayong.

As these young trailblazers from Thailand navigate their way through the cosmos of academia, their stories remind us that curiosity is the fuel for invention, and the sky—well, it’s just the beginning of their ambition. So, here’s to Wanwalee, Phuttima, and Chayanin—proof that dreams are limitless, especially when aimed towards the infinite expanse of space.


  1. JohnD June 23, 2024

    Wow, what an incredible achievement for these students! Really proud to see young talent shine like this.

    • ScienceGeek99 June 23, 2024

      Absolutely, but don’t you think it’s just a publicity stunt by the schools?

      • Patricia Lee June 23, 2024

        I disagree. Publicity or not, these kids worked hard and deserve the recognition.

      • JohnD June 23, 2024

        Exactly, giving them a platform encourages more students to engage in science.

    • Alice B June 23, 2024

      Perhaps, but it does inspire other students to pursue their passions in STEM.

  2. martin_law June 23, 2024

    Not to be the party pooper, but is this exercise really that groundbreaking?

    • Dr. Melissa K June 23, 2024

      In terms of microgravity and astronaut health, any small step can be revolutionary.

    • SpaceCadet June 23, 2024

      Yeah, exercising in space is crucial for astronauts’ long-term health.

  3. Nancy W. June 23, 2024

    I’m curious about the ‘Water Spheres and Electrostatic Force’ project. Why didn’t it win the main award?

    • Sam P June 23, 2024

      Probably because the exercise project had more practical applications for astronauts.

    • NanoTechie June 23, 2024

      Could be, but the water spheres experiment also has its merits. Hard to say without knowing the judges’ criteria.

  4. grower134 June 23, 2024

    Just another example of how other countries are beating us in science and education. Sad!

    • Sophia T June 23, 2024

      I wouldn’t necessarily say that. It’s more about celebrating global achievements.

    • Jacob L June 23, 2024

      As an American, I can say there are plenty of similar programs here. No need to be negative.

  5. Dave K June 23, 2024

    Rayong students must have amazing educators. Kudos to their teachers as well!

    • Linda June 23, 2024

      It really takes a village. Teachers play a huge role in nurturing talent.

    • grower134 June 23, 2024

      Maybe if we paid our teachers more, we’d have similar success stories.

  6. AstronomyFan June 23, 2024

    Can’t wait to see what else these students will achieve in the future. Space exploration is in good hands.

    • JohnD June 23, 2024

      Absolutely! Their future is full of possibilities.

  7. simpleton June 23, 2024

    So, they made up an exercise that looks like a starfish? Sounds silly.

    • Ava M June 23, 2024

      It’s not just about the movement. The exercise’s design is aimed specifically for microgravity conditions.

  8. Larry Davis June 23, 2024

    Wonder how long it took them to design this? Seems pretty complex.

    • Wanwalee June 23, 2024

      It took months of research and planning. It was challenging but rewarding.

    • Jean June 24, 2024

      Wow, that’s impressive commitment!

  9. FutureAstronaut June 23, 2024

    Really inspired by these projects. Makes me want to get involved in space research.

    • David Liu June 23, 2024

      Go for it! The field needs passionate individuals.

  10. Zara June 23, 2024

    What a remarkable story! Thanks for sharing this inspiring news.

  11. Chris N June 24, 2024

    Great job by these students! But I wonder how much of this was driven by the educational system versus their own passion.

    • Wendy P. June 24, 2024

      Most likely a combination of both. A supportive environment can ignite passion.

  12. TechieDude June 24, 2024

    Focusing on space research is cool, but shouldn’t we solve problems here on Earth first?

    • EnthusedBySpace June 24, 2024

      Space research often leads to innovations that benefit Earth too.

    • Sara G June 24, 2024

      Very true. Think about all the tech we use daily that originated from space research.

  13. ZenMaster June 24, 2024

    I’m just happy to see young minds being celebrated. The future looks promising.

  14. moongazer June 24, 2024

    We definitely need more initiatives like this globally. Imagine what else we could discover!

  15. Rodrigo R June 24, 2024

    This is just amazing. Can’t wait to tell my kids about it and see if they get inspired!

    • Myra L June 24, 2024

      Wonderful idea! Sparking curiosity in children is so important.

    • Rodrigo R June 24, 2024

      Absolutely! They’re already fascinated by space, so this should be a great motivator.

  16. AnalysisParalysis June 24, 2024

    I’d love to see more detailed data on the outcomes of these experiments. Hopefully, it gets published.

  17. Helen June 24, 2024

    Kudos to the mentors and families who supported these students as well. It’s a team effort!

  18. Parth June 24, 2024

    Next step: getting these students involved in actual space missions. Who knows what’s next?

  19. Sid June 24, 2024

    This is such a cool experiment. Microgravity exercises might be the next big thing!

  20. space_lover June 24, 2024

    It’s stories like these that make me believe in humanity’s potential. Kudos to everyone involved.

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