PH robotics team garners top honors at Olympiad

Published November 25, 2020, 1:18 PM

by Dhel Nazario

Amid pandemic, destructive typhoons, and other challenges, a Philippine team made up of young scientists from various schools has emerged victorious in the prestigious World Robot Olympiad Canada 2020-X.

Dr. Yanga’s Colleges, Inc. DYCI NOVUS Team bagged first place in the Open Category for Senior High School with their entry “Project Feet,” a three-part project composed of plastic recycling, power generation and provision of footwear.

The Project Feet robot manufactures footwear from plastic trash and is embedded with piezo discs that generate power for mobile phones and other gadgets.

The all-female team of Naiah Nicole Mendoza, Denise Carpio, and Abigail Silva with their coach, Beryl Cruz, also won the “Girl Power Award” conferred during the 19th Philippine Robotics Olympiad.

Dr. Yanga’s Colleges, Inc. DYCI Primes Team, meanwhile, bagged second place in the Open Category for Junior High School with their entry “Project Cycle,” a bicycle that can convert trash paper mixed with water lilies to make recycled paper.

Rice husk called “ipa” was used to make recycled pencils. Also, the Project Cycle bike was used to generate power for mobile phones and other gadgets.

The team consists of Annette Nicole Ambi, Aaron James Amar, and Daniella Angela de Guzman with their coach, Anne Jazpher Raz.

Lastly, the Candijay Municipal High School under the Department of Education, Division of Bohol won third place in the Open Category for Junior High School for their entry called BASAK.

BASAK stands for Bohol Action to Solidify Agrikultura.

It is composed of wind turbines, water pumps and biomass generators with many applications for the agriculture industry in Bohol.

The members of the team are Mary Haidee Makinano, Trisha Belle Olaivar, and Juno Ceasar Escatron with their coach, Thata Celeres. Due to the pandemic, the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) Canada 2020-X has made innovations in delivering the event to over 750 participants from over 40 countries.

WRO Canada 2020-X conducted the event fully online using digital floor plans, live streaming of activities, virtual meetings, social media platforms, and real-time digital scoreboard. The theme this year was titled “Climate Change/Climate Squad.” “The biggest challenge was to synchronize everything as the countries were from different time zones.

WRO Canada 2020-X set pre-scheduled calls and connected the participants resulting in the same excitement and success as a physical event.

The Philippine Robotics National Team has overcome adversity of slow internet access, remote meetings, school closure, series of typhoons and online presentations to the WRO Canada judges,” said Mylene Abiva of FELTA Multi-Media Inc. and national organizer of the Philippine Robotics Olympiad and World Robot Olympiad Ambassador (representing 72 countries).

Incidentally, FELTA, a pioneer and leader in the introduction of instructional materials such as electronic devices and audiovisual materials for Philippine schools, is one of the institutional partners of the Science and Technology Information Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-STII) and has long been collaborating with the DOST-Science Education Institute in various learning programs that promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM education in the country.

The Department of Education lauded the Philippine National Robotics teams for securing global recognition.

“I am aware that we have been facing adversities and challenges recently but seeing these learners triumph in the international stage motivates us to prepare and enhance basic education more for their future,” said DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones. (With a report from Merlina Hernando-Malipot)