MANILA, Philippines — Eight students from different schools around the country are slated to present their scientific and engineering research studies during the 2012 edition of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), scheduled to be held next week in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
The students, who were handpicked after participating in local and regional science fairs around the country, will be competing in two team categories and two individual tilts from May 13 to 18.
One of the members of the teams is Julian Paolo Biyo, the son of Dr. Josette Biyo, who was awarded the Intel Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002 and had an asteroid named after her — the 13241 Biyo.
The younger Biyo is part of the group who worked to provide an acceptable method of coral reef rehabilitation using bamboo and concrete materials to a local fishing community in Banate Bay, Iloilo.
Other members of the group include Hazel Anne Hernandez and Paul Caesar Flores. The team had already won the “Most Promising Young Scientists Award” in the recent Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Young Scientist 8th Regional Congress in Penang, Malaysia.
“The findings and techniques we utilized for this research are appropriate to areas where coral reefs need treatment. In essence, the benefits generated by this project apply both locally and globally,” Biyo said.
The Iloilo research area of the group, Intel said, had actually been recognized as a protected habitat.
Intel Philippines Government Affairs Manager Yvonne Flores said the representatives are bringing a lot to the table this year, considering their projects had already been recognized in various division and regional science fairs around the country.
“In last year’s ISEF, one of our own, Miguel Reyes, actually won the second grand award,” Flores said. “He was also awarded the privilege to have an asteroid named after him, with whom only eight Filipinos were granted historically. We are hoping that this year’s delegates will follow suit.”
Other research projects competing in the international science tilt include:
- A study on the potential of herbal plants to contain copper ions through mined-out and heavy-metal amended soil by fifteen-year-old Ven Gabriel Tan;
- A look into how the ink of sea hares–sea slugs that secrete ink as defense mechanism against predators–could help prevent cell degeneration by Bryce Anos, Lanz Gabriel Jabla and Carla Lazara;
- And a research and development of an eco-friendly and cost-effective fabric made of Fragrant Screw Pine (pandan fibers) by Elson Ian Nyl Galang.
Before being whisked off to the US, the delegation will attend a week-long Science Clinic, where the students can extract knowledge and information from experts and various technologies to help them prepare for the international competition.
“These days, knowledge is everywhere precisely because we are in the information age,” said Dir. Lolita M. Andrada, Fair Director, Philippines Science Fair, Director, Bureau of Secondary Education. “With the abundance of sources and resources, the only thing that stands between us and our dreams are ourselves.”
The Intel ISEF is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. It provides an annual forum for more than 1,500 high school students from 65 countries, regions, and territories to present their independent research as they compete for over $4 million annually.