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Visayas students’ disaster robot wins award

In Photo: Philippine Science High School-Eastern Visayas Campus students win the “I Make, We Make” Youth Innovation and Perfect Execution awards from the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute.

Students from the Philippine Science High School-Eastern Visayas Campus (PSHS-EVC) were declared the national champions in the robotics Youth Innovation Award by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI).

The students—Johan Castillejos, Kent Marc Kobe Bismark and John Ejie Relente—together with their coach Engr. Vinci Gabumpa, also won the Special Award-Perfect Execution Award at the competition held at Henry Sy Innovation Center in Miriam College in Quezon City last week.

The “I Make, We Make: Create Innovate Collaborate” competition was a robotics-innovation challenge that made use of a specific to help the society in today’s problems.

The PSHS-EVC team developed the Disaster Mitigation Robot, which provides an alert system when a flood or tsunami comes.

It was the team’s first time to join the competition, which incidentally would help prepare them for Australia Robotics Challenge in October to develop their concept as well as prototypes to contribute in presenting solutions for the current problems of society.

The PSHS-EVC team told the BusinessMirror, “We designed a device that sense water levels in times of flood or tsunami, and alert the community. We aim to innovate and collaborate with agencies to achieve the objectives of the DOST-SEI competition. The DOST-SEI aims that youth from  innovate certain solutions for problems in community such as agriculture, disaster, environment, public health and traffic.”

The team will represent the Philippines to the Google Griffith Australia Robotics Challenge in October  at Griffith University, Australia, as young innovators of technology.

The invitation to join the Australia Robotics Challenge came when the PSHS-EVC team competed in an earlier robotics competitions organized by the Department of Education (DepEd).

It became the champion in two categories in the DepEd’s National Science and Technology Fair called Pinoy Robot Games 2017. They won in the 1-kilogram Legged Sumobot and in Line Tracing at Tagaytay International Convention Center from February 14 to 16. The Pinoy robot games aim to utilize technology to solve problems but using technology to be fun and productive for students.

In the Pinoy robot games, the PSHS-EVC team said its Sumobot was built from Lego blocks with platforms, but has no wheels and only touches the ground in several points. It is not automated but remote controlled. In the competition, two robots face off and try to be first to push off the opponent robot out the platform.

The robots also complete challenges, such carry barrels of hypothetically toxic materials that are placed in a container, and rescue people and bring them in rescue areas.

“We managed to be in rank 26 out of 86 teams from various parts of the world in robotics mission challenge in Qatar in 2015,” the PSHS team said.

Director Reynaldo Garnace of PSHS-EVC told the BusinessMirror the catalyst in having creative and innovating ideas among the students is by allowing them to “think, be creative and innovative, as ignited by their classes in advance technology, computer science, physics and math. Their participation in interdisciplinary studies helps them create something and engage in robotics and other activities.”

The team has developed its skills and, theoretically, through the Robotics Alternative Learning Activities (ALA) under the physics track, where they meet two hours every week.

Their coach told the BusinessMirror the PSHS was able to produce excellent students with aptitude and skills in robotics. Gabumpa said through the school’s constant motivation and support, the team bagged several awards, including the performance award in the 2016 World Robot Games and second place in the 2016 Pinoy Robot Games

Gabumpa said the PSHS joined the robotics for the first time in 2009, where they got third in national competition for open category.

Before the K to 12 curriculum was adopted by the DepEd, the ALA in Robotics was an elective for second-year students. ALA in Robotics is now part of the curriculum.

The PSHS-EVC team said robotics stimulate young minds, inspire and capacitate them to become a springboard as future engineers in our country.

“Robotics will solve problems of society by utilizing resources, innovating, collaborating and stimulate critical thinking, problem solving, and isproductive and fun,” PSHS-EVC team said.

The team members hope to take electronics engineering, electrical engineering, biomedical engineering or biotechnology in college.

The team encourages the youth to engage in robotics and “not to get intimated by robotics, because they help in critical thinking, problem solving and it is fun.”

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