By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
For the Department of Education (DepEd), the success of many Filipino students in various international competitions is proof that the K to 12 curriculum is “working” and that the program should be “continued.”
DepEd Senior Education Program Specialist for Science Annaliza Chan noted that the success of this year’s delegates to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2018 held last May 13-19 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a “clear sign: that the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) strand of the K to 12 curriculum is “doing good and must be supported.”
“Based on the students’ experiences in the conduct of their researches there were many challenges,” Chan, who accompanied this year’s delegates in Pennsylvania, said.
“But despite all the difficulties that they had to face, they were able to rise above these,” she added.
For the 2018 ISEF, there were 10 Junior and Senior High School (JHS/SHS) learners who represented the Philippines. They also won major awards in the prestigious fair which had 1,802 participants from 81 countries.
This year, Joscel Kent Manzanero, Keith Russel Cadores, and Eugene Rivera of Camarines Sur National High School bagged the Second Award of $1,500 in the Energy: Physical category for their Design and Development of Solar-Tracking Arduino-Rooted PV Panels while Elaine Nicole Saquin and Randy Molejona Jr. of Iloilo National High School (INHS) won Third Award of $1,000 in the Earth and Environmental Sciences category for their research on Biosorption of Manganese Mine Effluents Using Crude Chitin from Shell Wastes of Philippine Bivalves.
Pete Gabriel Ledesma, also an INHS student, took home the Fourth Award of $500 in the Materials Science Category for his study on Phytoreductive-Hydrothermal Synthesis of Polyethylene Glycol-coated Magnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery Applications.
Completing the Philippine delegation were: Leann Patrice Ganzon and Anne Nicole Occena of INHS who submitted their study on Garcinia binucao Fruit and Leaf: Phytochemicals-Mediated Antioxidant, Alpha-Amylase and Alpha-Glucosidase Enzyme Inhibitors; Adrian Maglasang of City of Bogo Science and Arts Academy in Cebu who conducted a research on the Propulsion Performance Evaluation of a Lego-Based Carangiform Mechanism for a Prototype Robotic Fish Unmanned Underwater Vehicle; and Roehann Mykael Zabat of Juan R. Liwag Memorial School in Nueva Ecija who analyzed the Reducing Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration and Motor Dysfunction Using Crude Ethanolic Bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris) Leaf Extract on a Transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans Model of Parkinson’s Disease.
The young scientists were chosen to represent the Philippines in Intel ISEF 2018 following their successful stint in the 2018 National Science and Technology Fair (NSTF) of DepEd. The annual competition “aims to promote Science and Technology consciousness among the youth and identify the most creative/innovative and the best Science researchers who will represent the country in the Intel ISEF and other international competitions.”
Meanwhile, Chan encouraged learners and stakeholders to view both ISEF and NSTF “not just as contests but as avenues for young Filipino researchers to collaborate and share solutions to the problems of today and the future.”