/ 1 October 2020

THE DEPARTMENT of Science and Technology’s Science Education Institute has opened its search for the best student innovations that address community problems.

The competition that began in 2017 seeks to unleash the creativity of young Filipinos in innovation using accessible technologies. It also aims to expose students to the process of innovation from idea pitching to building and testing actual prototypes.

“The competition has been effective in improving students’ engineering and technical proficiencies, as well as developing their communication, critical and analytical thinking skills. We believe we can sustain the momentum even though our mobility is limited these days,” DOST-SEI Director Josette Biyo said.

The competition has three stages — call for proposals and selection, technical training/workshop and project pitching, and final project presentation and judging.

Teams should be composed of three Grade 11 and/or Grade 12 students and a teacher per school. They may pitch projects addressing any of the following areas: food safety, security, traffic/road congestion, health, education, disaster mitigation, entrepreneurship, agriculture, and environment. An accompanying video not longer than three minutes should also explain the concept.

School teams that will pass the selection process will be invited to attend a five-day technical training/workshop on basic electronics, programming, troubleshooting, and presentation skills. Qualifiers will also get free kit-of-parts, which will be used to develop their prototype or actual technologies.

“Since we’re on a pandemic, we’re designing the technical training to be purely online. Challenging as it may, we will make sure the online training will just be as effective as face-to-face sessions,” Biyo said.

Teams will be given a build and testing period of three months before the final project presentation and judging. The projects will be evaluated by the board of judges based on relevance and potential impact on the community of interest, novelty, viability, and community engagement.

Three winning innovations will receive P100,000 cash prize and the prestigious Youth Innovation Prize each.

Deadline for submission of proposals is on November 6, 2020.