MAY 11, 2007
 (STAR) Nine Filipino high school students were chosen to represent the country in an international competition that encourages the youth to compete in science and technology.

The Department of Education (DepEd) presented these students yesterday as the "cream of the crop" among secondary students across the archipelago who bested thousands in a year-long, nationwide competition for the best science school projects.

DepEd Assistant Chief for the Secondary Division for Region 8, Dr. Catalino Petillos, over-all coordinator of the student representatives, said that the Philippine delegates to the 2007 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair will be leaving for Albuquerque, New Mexico for the competition, which runs from May 13 to 19.

The student delegates, aged between 15 and 17 years, are: Jane Suede, Charlottte Joyce Gamelong, Joy Cabanero, and Luigi John Karlo Suarez of Doña Hortencia Salas, Benedicto National High School in La Carlota City; Ivy Razel Ventura, Janine Cindy Santiago, and Mara Elaine Villaverde of Philippine Science High School (PSHS) in Agham Road, Quezon City; Melvyn Carlo Barroa of Capiz National High School, Roxas City and; Hester Mana Umayam of the PSHS Cagayan Valley Campus, Nueva Viscaya.

They met with journalists during an informal lunch in Makati City hosted by Intel Phils., which is sponsoring the Philippine delegation to the competition.

The students were proud to explain their science project entries, including the use of mucus from common Philippine fish species as an antibiotic agent; the use of mucus extractions from sea slugs and snails as an injectible agent to determine the existence and breadth of cancer cells in cancer tumors; and the use of the local variety of oregano herb to attract pests and bacteria away from rice crops. One project formulates numerical applications taken from the design patters" of native hand-woven fabrics of Kalinga province.

The nine student representatives were selected from over 8,000 entries submitted by various schools nationwide in this year’s Intel Phils. Science Fair in February following a year-long competition.

Intel is a United States-based multinational firm that manufactures micro-processors and semiconductors for computers. It has been holding this international science competition since 1976 and has given scholarship and educational grants to students and educational institutions in various countries.

Intel Phils. external communications manager Ma. Teresa Pacis said her company’s goal in sponsoring this competition "is to promote interest and awareness on science and technology among the country’s youth as a way to improve the lives of the Filipinos."

It was in 2002 that the Philippine delegation bagged the grand team prize in the physics category of the contest.

Last year, a representative of Marikina National High School won the 2nd individual prize for the life sciences category with a project that explored the use of janitor fish oil for cosmetics and industrial purposes. – Karlo Baylosis

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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