/ 20 March 2023

A TEAM of high school students from the Integrated Developmental School of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology won in the STEM Project Competition organized by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for STEM Education.

Grade 9 students Ricah Mey Dela Cruz, Ahmad Nur Barambangan, Rachelle Kayeleen Tiu, and Jeca Ayesha Chua were among the 30 winning teams.

At least 170 finalists were picked from 370 project submissions and 30 winners were chosen.

Their “Project TIBACRU” aimed to solve food poverty by developing a more efficient and labor-intensive aquaponics design that can be utilized to cultivate vegetables while raising fish in urban areas.

“The team was able to develop a fund sufficient, replicable, and waste and energy efficient solution by performing laboratory activities to better engineer their design, collaborating with STEM partner institutions, viewing several videos and documentaries to help them understand the problem, and interacting with various poverty-stricken communities,” MSU-IIT said.

“The judges were impressed with the team’s concept due to its simplicity, affordability, and potential impact. As the only team from Mindanao to get to the final round, the team traveled to Bangkok, Thailand and showcased their solution,” it added.

Gilden Maecah Migalang led the MSU-IIT IDS team during the project development.

The competition was held during the 2023 Southeast Asia STEM Fair and Exposition in Bangkok, Thailand earlier this month.

The event aimed to give young learners a platform “to compete in projects that illustrate the application of STEM learning to solve problems or challenges in their daily lives or communities.”