Some 730 young achievers in science and mathematics were honored recently at the annual Youth Excellence in Science (YES) Award held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
The ceremony celebrated the victory of elementary and high school students in international science and mathematics competitions such as the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) and the Singapore International Mathematics Olympiad Challenge.
During the ceremony, said students from 120 schools in the National Capital Region were given the Secretary’s Medal, which signifies the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) high regard for excellence and competitiveness. Students from the other regions will also receive their medals in special ceremonies to be conducted by DOST regional offices.
During the awarding ceremony, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña emphasized that the increasing trend is more than just an upsurge in numbers. “What we are more interested in is the quality that we elicit among our students, as well as the values we taught them during their training and actual competitions, and even after reaching their goals,” he said.
On the part of the DOST-Science Education Institute (SEI), Director Josette T. Biyo thanked the awardees for showing the world the Philippine brand of excellence and hard work.
“We hope you can be our scholars and be with the people as you reach your dreams,” said Dr. Biyo.
She also lauded parents, teachers, school officials, and national organizers of science and math competitions who supported the students.
YES awardee Emmanuel Osbert Cajayon of Emilio Aguinaldo College-Cavite expressed his gratitude to DOST as he shared his experiences and reflections. The IMO bronze medalist reminded his fellow awardees to focus on their passion for their chosen fields and not just on achievements.
The YES Award is now on its 11th year, with each year showing a steady increase in the total number of awardees. From 70 student-medalists on its first year, 2018’s total number of awardees is 1,469 (from 332 schools) – a 23 percent increase from the previous year’s 1,195 and the highest number recorded in YES history.
Other DOST officials who were in the awarding ceremony include DOST Undersecretary for Scientific and Technical Services Dr. Carol M. Yorobe, DOST-SEI Deputy Director Albert G. Mariño, and DOST-NCR Regional Director Jose B. Patalinjug III.
The event was organized by the DOST-SEI, which spearheads the country’s premier science scholarship program.