/ 14 December 2020

TWELVE high school students who bagged the top prizes at the Department of Education’s 2020 National Science and Technology Fair will receive college scholarships from the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation.

The group conferred the GBF Young Scientists Award  on November 27 on the 12-student researchers, who also represented the Philippines in the 2020 International Science and Engineering Fair.

The recognition comes with a college scholarship to encourage the winners to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses.

“We believe that if we can inspire the youth to dream and work hard towards their dream of becoming a scientist for our country, we will be contributing directly and powerfully towards a better future for the Filipinos,” GBF executive director Grace Colet said.

The recipients of the GBF-YSA awards were Franklin Razon of the MIMAROPA Regional Science High School; Chloe Heather Ellano, Adoniram Balagtas, Thea Marie Lumabi of the Caloocan National Science and Technology High School; Giuliana Anupol, Arabelle Santos, and Jesscel Libiran of the Juan R. Liwag Memorial High School; Ray Vincent Pelayo, Rafael Tallador, Marvince John Araneta and Lorraine Joy Z. Bales of the Iloilo National High School; and Marian Ledesma of the Negros Occidental National High School.

Razon found a way to integrate repurposed materials and natural fibers of patola and coconut into an oil retrieval device that could be used in oil spill response.

Meanwhile, Ellano, Balagtas, Lumabi developed a helmet technology that may lower incidents of motorcycle theft and drunk driving-related accidents.

Anupol, Santos and Libiran discovered how a local plant extract could reduce dependency on alcohol and mitigate its harmful effects.

Pelayo and Tallador studied nipa palm sap as a potential source of lactic acid bacteria with DNA protective properties against free radicals that trigger cancer development and other degenerative diseases.

Araneta and Bales invented a portable water monitoring kit that utilizes carbon quantum dots to detect the presence of heavy metals, making it easier to check water contamination.

Meanwhile, Ledesma studied the potential of EDTA-MGO, a magnetic nano adsorbent from graphite, in removing organic pollutants from water and making the adsorbent easily retrievable after use.

GBF General Manager and Trustee Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng lauded the young scientists’ successful efforts to solve real-life problems in their community.

“We thank our guests and partners who made time to join us because they share GBF’s belief that recognizing young minds’ contributions to science, innovation, and research is of utmost importance. Contributing to a body of knowledge requires no age,” Gokongwei-Cheng said.

“The future stems from every day that our learners stay curious and seek answers,” she added.