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Bumper crop of int’l math, science medals for PH in 2015

Bumper crop of int’l math, science medals for PH in 2015
Filipino students continue to show that they are competitive in the fields of science and math

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino science and mathematics wizards just keep getting better.

After setting a record 484 gold, silver, and bronze medals from international science and mathematics competitions in 2014, contingents from the Philippines collected a total of 614 medals in 2015, leaving another mark for the history books.

The annual Youth Excellence in Science (YES) Awards, organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), recognized students who win gold, silver, and bronze medals in world science and mathematics contests. (READ: Life lessons from mathematics)

Some of the medalists from Metro Manila and nearby provinces received their badges of honor from no less than DOST Secretary Mario Montejo. The ceremony was held on February 4 at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology building in Diliman, Quezon City.

Of the total tally, 321 came from the National Capital Region, while 293 came from the other regions.

Philippine Science High School-Main Campus garnered the most number of international medals with 52, followed by St Jude Catholic School, and Grace Christian College with 28 and 23 medals, respectively.

Montejo lauded the historic achievement of the awardees, citing efforts of DOST in promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among the youth.

He said that while a lot of issues and challenges remain in terms of science and technology, the excellence of YES medalists proves that there will be great minds to drive the field further in the future.

“Each year, the YES Awards remind me that despite the difficult task of creating solutions to various challenges, the future of the Philippines is bright, knowing that we are developing the future leaders well,” said Montejo, who urged the medalists to choose STEM fields when they go to college.

Montejo cited the increased scholarship slots and strengthened benefits to motivate the students to venture into STEM fields.

“The scholarship slots have soared since 2010, and we have indeed helped produce scientists and engineers in the process. We hope to capitalize on this improvement by encouraging all gifted students to go into sciences and make their mark in the field,” he added.

Meanwhile, one of the YES awardees, Bryce Ainsley Sanchez of Grace Christian College, addressed his fellow awardees and urged them to continue doing great in competitions.

Finally, DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara encouraged the students to follow the footsteps of DOST scholar-graduates Reinabelle Reyes, Gay Jane Perez, and others who are now “impact scientists.”

“We have all the reasons to believe that you will be like them, if not better, in the future,” Guevara said. – Rappler.com

Marco D. Melgar studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He is a coffee maniac who sees light in the country’s science and technology arena.

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