The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) launched the first virtual 2020 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration on 23 November 2020 via Facebook live and the 2020 NSTW virtual platform.
This year’s theme, “Agham at Teknolohiya: Sandigan ng Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan, at Kinabukasan”, aims to highlight different innovative solutions and new S&T knowledge related to agriculture, livelihood and enterprise development, safety, health and nutrition, education, disaster preparedness, and community development.
“The pandemic did not deter us from celebrating the 2020 NSTW. On the contrary, it inspired us more to think outside the box. In reality, it helps us to be more creative, be more resourceful, and be more innovative,” said Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña of DOST.
DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña commenced the opening of this year’s NSTW. This is the first time that the DOST will be holding a virtual celebration of the science week. In the previous years, NSTW is held in a big convention venue.
“Pangako ng DOST ang NSTW sa taong bayan bawat taon at kahit na may pandemic ay hindi namin kayo dapat biguin. It may have been a challenge, but it is not impossible. With the power of technology, we were able to design virtual exhibits.”, Sec. de la Peña added.
The DOST believed that the NSTW has become a beacon of hope ever since. As DOST aimed to bring science closer to the people to let them experience, to let them live, and let science work for them.
At the virtual kick-off, the DOST also recognized outstanding research projects in the 2020 National Science and Technology Awards. Annually, the DOST, through the National Academy of Science and Technology or NAST PHL, gives recognition to deserving individuals or groups who exemplified outstanding qualities in science and technology and who proved themselves worthy of their achievements and accomplishments in their respective fields.
The DOST awarded two (2) winners for the Outstanding Research and Development Award for Basic Research or the Eduardo A. Quisimbing Medal. The winners are Dr. Rachel June Ravago Gotanco, of the Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines Diliman for her research titled, “Rarity of the ‘common’ coral Pocillopora damicomis in the western Philippine archipelago” and Dr. Roel R. Suralta, with co-authors Jennifer M. Mangkil, Jonathan M. Manangkil, Jonathan M. Niones, Jerwin R. Undan, Mitsuhiro Obara, Teodora E. Mananghaya, Rachelle P. Mallari, Maybell DM. Banting, Sherilyn B. Estrada, and Mark Philip B. Castillo for their research titled, “Quantitative Trait Loci Associated with Root Elongation Ability of Rice under Nitrogen-deficient Condition”.
The Outstanding Research and Development Award for Applied Research or the Julian A. Banzon Medal was awarded to Dr. Erwin P. Enriquez of the Ateneo de Manila University with co-authors Sarah May Sibug-Torres and Isagani D. Padolina for their research titled, “Field-ready tools for fingerprinting of herbal materials for the medicinal plant industry”.
The Outstanding Science Administrator Award or the Dioscoro L. Umali Medal was given to Dr. Cynthia P. Saloma of the Philippine Genome Center in recognition of her profound and lasting contributions as Executive Director of the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) of the University of the Philippines (UP) System.
PH Robotics National Team victorious at World Robot Olympiad Canada 2020X
The Philippine Robotics National team has proven that the COVID-19 pandemic and the series of typhoons that hit the country in the past weeks has not deterred them from giving glory and honor to the country.
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, livestreaming of activities, virtual meetings, social media platforms, and real-time digital scoreboard. The theme this year was titled “Climate Change/ Climate Squad” that was held on November 12-15, 2020.
The awardees composed of our Filipino young scientists are as follows:
1st place GOLD – Dr. Yanga’s Colleges Inc. DYCI NOVUS Team in the Open Category for Senior High School. The entry is PROJECT FEET, a 3-part project: Plastic Recycling, Power Generation and Provision of Footwear.
The Project Feet robot manufactures footwear from plastic trash and imbed with piezo discs that generate power for mobile phones and other gadgets. The all-girl team won the “GIRL POWER AWARD” conferred during the 19th Philippine Robotics Olympiad.
The members of the team are Naiah Nicole Mendoza, Denise Carpio, and Abigail Silva with their coach, Beryl Cruz.
2nd place SILVER – Dr. Yanga’s Colleges Inc. DYCI Primes Team in the Open Category for Junior High School. The entry is 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 members of the team are Annette Nicole Ambi, Aaron James Amar, and Daniella Angela de Guzman with their coach, Anne Jazpher Raz.
3rd place BRONZE –Candijay Municipal High School under the Department of Education, Division of Bohol in the Open Category for Junior High School.
The entry is called BASAK that stands for Bohol Action to Solidify Agrikultura. It is composed of wind turbines, water pump 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.
Mylene Abiva of FELTA Multi-Media Inc. and National Organizer of the Philippine Robotics Olympiad and World Robot Olympiad Ambassador (representing 72 countries) said, “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 o line presentations to the WRO Canada judges”.
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.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas
DOST gets nod from UNCTAD for S&T advocacy in spite of pandemic
A United Nations high-ranking official expressed her admiration for the country’s efficient use of frontier technologies and support for science and technology.
Frontier technologies are the next generation technologies that hope to bring an inclusive and sustainable development across all economies. These technologies, which include 5G internet, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, big data analytics, robotics, and internet of things herald the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as new products and services will eclipse the traditional global market.
During the opening of the 2020 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW), Dr. Shamika Sirimanne, director of the Division on Technology and Logistics of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development delivered her message commending the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for successfully holding the annual science and technology fair featuring locally-developed technologies despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19 pandemic.
She said that “the commitment to advocating the role of S&T in the Philippines particularly in this challenging time is commendable.”
Sirimanne pointed out that second only to India, the Philippines is considered as one of the overperformers in the adoption of so-called frontier technologies relative to its per capita Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
According to Pew Research Center, “countries with a higher GDP per capita generally have higher rates of smartphone ownership and internet and social networking use.”
She also mentioned that the Philippines has a “high-ranking industry” that reflects the high level Foreign Direct Investments on high-tech manufacturing particularly electronic products. Incidentally, the DOST aligns its programs to this strategy with the creation of world class facilities like the national testing laboratory called Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory (ADMATEL) and the Electronic Products Development Center (EPDC).
On the other hand, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña welcomes this development. In fact, the science chief underscored the importance of innovation with the many contributions of the different research and development institutes (RDIs) under its wings during the time of pandemic; technologies developed and feature in the 2020 NSTW exhibits that range from remote health devices, nutrition, alternative energy to mobile apps and other initiatives that address not only COVID-19 but also other socioeconomic problems in the country.
In fact, just last September, the DOST reported the results of the Global Innovation Index 2020 which saw the country rose to 50th rank, up by four notches from the previous year and climbed 23 steps from the 73rd position in 2018.
De la Peña, in his message, shared that “we are also looking ahead for the years to come. We are now at the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution. And with the things happening around us, masasabi ko na narito na tayo, handa, at buong lakas na hinaharap ang kinabukasan. Dahil ang kaunlaran natin bilang tao, bilang isang bansa, ay nakasalalay sa agham, teknolohiya at inobasyon.”
The DOST is the premier government body that provides the central direction, leadership and coordination on both scientific and technological initiatives of the country through its research and development thrusts. The DOST ensures that these initiatives bear fruit to ultimately benefit the Filipino people.
The 2020 NSTW will run from 23-29. This year, the celebration is in virtual mode as restrictions to mobility and public gatherings are still implemented in the National Capital Region. By Joy M. Lazcano, DOST-STII, S&T Media Service
To see the virtual S&T exhibits and live webinars, visit the NSTW website at www.nstw2020.dost.gov.ph or log on to the NSTW Facebook page at www.facebook.com/2020nstw