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PH student app developers nab presentation award in Japan

YOKOHAMA, Japan – Three Filipino high school students bagged the outstanding poster presentation award at the Kanagawa International Science Fair in Yokohama, Japan, held March 17 - 18.

Justin Banusing, Cedrick Cruz and Peter Flores, students of Philippine Science High School - Western Visayas, made up half of the Philippines’ delegation at the long-running event.

Their entry, an educational smartphone application called ‘Arijo’, was among the top 8 of 78 other groups from 34 different schools.

“We didn’t really come in with any expectations,” said Banusing. “All we wanted to do was spread our advocacy of promoting STEM education and do the best for our school.”

Arijo allows users to learn science experiments, gather related data from the environment, and share them with others on a public repository. The application was developed over the course of a year, inspired by games such as Pokemon Go and Ingress.

AWARDING CEREMONY. The delegates accepting the certificate at the awarding ceremony. Photos courtesy of Justin Banusing

AWARDING CEREMONY. The delegates accepting the certificate at the awarding ceremony.

Photos courtesy of Justin Banusing

“STEM is one of the most valued fields of studies out there, but not many people are getting into it,” said Flores. “Since everyone is spending a lot of time on smartphones nowadays, we decided to reach out by putting science at their fingertips.“

All 3 students are graduating seniors and will be pursuing STEM degrees. Banusing is currently committed to the University of Washington - Seattle, while Cruz and Flores hope to attend the University of Philippines - Diliman.

“I want to continue learning Computer Science and work in the industry one day,” said Cruz. “I also want to contribute to the STEM industry through Computer Science, which I hope to do throughout and after college.”

Alongside PSHS-WVC, 9 schools from Japan’s various prefectures and 24 from Taiwan also joined the KISF. The organizing school, Kanagawa Prefectural Atsugi High School, will be hosting the Atsugi Science Fair as a follow-up in mid-2018.

“I’m proud of what my advisees have accomplished,” said teacher-adviser Eisen Ed Briones. “Getting their project journal-published was one thing, but winning this is another.” – Rappler.com