2019 Science Tech Fair showcases best student research projects

student-researcher Romel Angelo Picazo of Region 12 showcases his prototype LED-sensor ozone and nitrogen dioxide detector during the 2019 National Science and Technology Fair.

THE National Science and Technology Fair (NSTF)—the Department of Education’s (DepEd) foremost program that inculcates critical thinking, creativity and innovation among the youth—showcased research projects geared toward community development and sustainable solutions during its opening program held at the Tagaytay International Convention Center on February 19.

“Any creation, any learning and innovation output should be a solution—a response to a community concern. In innovation, anything that you do should always have a purpose. If you want to innovate a process, a system, or anything to create something new and original, it should always be for a reason,” DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Lorna Dig Dino underscored during her keynote address.

Spearheaded by DepEd Bureau of Curriculum Development-Curriculum Standards Development Division (BCD-CSDD), in cooperation with the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF), the 2019 NSTF unveiled a total of 66 researches and innovations by 126 student-researchers on life science, physical science, and robotics and intelligent machines.

For the first time since its inception, the NSTF conducted a press briefing featuring its student-researchers. One of them shared with media and fellow delegates how she viewed this endeavor as a calling to serve the people: “In our case, it is to serve the unprivileged and underserved so research is not just for compliance, for competition, or in school.”

In the same press briefing, GBF Executive Director Grace Colet asked the student-researchers about the key challenges they face in carrying out their research projects. They shared their need for greater guidance from their advisers, a wider array of references, better research equipment and facilities, more opportunities for expansion of their projects, and physical and financial assistance.

 The GBF will support the travel and lodging expenses, allowances and visa fees of the NSTF winners who shall comprise the Philippine delegation to the 2019 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, from May 12 to 17.

The NSTF kickoff also underscored the importance of intellectual property, as reflected in the message of DepEd Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Josephine Maribojoc who emphasized that every creator, inventor and writer is entitled to protection of the creations of his or her mind, original works and intellectual property.

“But every creator, inventor and writer is also a learner whose access to intellectual property stimulates his or her mind to wander, discover and create. That essential truth needs to find its way into striking a balance between protecting the interest of the intellectual-property rights holders and the interest of the general public and, more particularly, the learners in our schools to access intellectual property,” Maribojoc said.

Andrew Michael Ong, director for the World Intellectual Property Organization—a sponsor of the 2019 NSTF, together with One Meralco Foundation—discussed generating ideas from patent information in one of the plenary sessions. Meanwhile, Dr. Toni-Jan Keith Monserrat from the University of the Philippines-Los Baños presented on coding in a Google classroom.

Other highlights of the 2019 NSTF kickoff included the opening of poster exhibits and the onsite evaluation of the research projects.

BCD Director Jocelyn Andaya and Legal Affairs Director Suzette Ganaban Medina also attended the exhibit.

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