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Science and Tech Fair showcased solutions to community concerns

Credit: Gokongwei Brothers Foundation

The foremost program of the Philippines’ Department of Education (DepEd) that instils critical thinking, creativity and innovation among the youth was recently held at the Tagaytay International Convention Centre.

According to a recent report, the 2019 National Science and Technology Fair (NSTF) showcased research projects geared toward community development and sustainable solutions.

Purpose and Challenges

The Department’s Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction highlighted during her keynote address that any creation, any learning and innovation output should be a solution and a response to a community concern.

She added that in innovation, anything done should always have a purpose and a reason.

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.

In a press briefing for its student researchers, one of the delegates shared how she views this endeavour as a calling to serve the people.

The calling for them is to serve the unprivileged and underserved concluding that research is not just for compliance, for competition, or done in school.

When asked for the key challenges they faced in carrying out their research projects, the students shared their need for greater guidance from advisers and a wider array of references.

They also mentioned better research equipment and facilities, more opportunities for expansion of their projects as well as physical and financial assistance.

Intellectual Property

The importance of intellectual property was also underscored.

The Department’s Undersecretary for Legal Affairs emphasised that every creator, inventor and writer is entitled to protection of the creations of their mind, original works and intellectual property.

But every creator, inventor and writer is also a learner whose access to intellectual property stimulates their 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, more particularly, the learners in the schools to access intellectual property.

This was discussed by the Director for the World Intellectual Property Organisation in one of the plenary sessions. He talked about generating ideas from patent information.

Research projects

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

The projects proved that the future of research is looking even brighter for the Philippines.

As reported, participants were encouraged to come up with research geared towards solving “the problems of today and tomorrow.”

The student researchers competed according to three categories: Life Science, Physical Science, and Robotics and Intelligent Machines.

A Grade 10 student, who participated in the competition, developed a device to detect signs of activities leading to deforestation.

This project was prompted by her experience in her hometown of Pangasinan.

There, the student has an unobstructed view of the mountains, which now reveal parched and barren land due to illegal logging practices in the area.

Her invention is a solar-powered alert system that can detect signs of slash-and-burn logging activities through flame, smoke, vibration, and sound sensors.

If it is able to detect any suspicious activities, it will send a text message to alert concerned authorities.

This device was recognised as one of the Best 6 Projects of the technology fair under the Robotics category.

From these projects, the Department will select the official delegates who will be representing the country to an international science and engineering fair in Arizona, USA in May.

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