12 student scientists cited for achievements

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    TWELVE student scientists from six schools nationwide have been chosen as the winners in the 2020 Gokongwei Brothers Foundation Young Scientist Award.

    The awardees were feted in a virtual conferment ceremony held via Zoom and streamed on GBF’s Facebook page but the winners were picked in March during the National Science and Technology Fair (NSTF) organized by the Department of Education.

    Topping the list of awardees were Marvince Araneta and Lorraine Joy Bales from the Iloilo National Science High School (INSHS) who developed a water tester prototype that can detect mercury and lead in water using carbon quantum dots. Their product received the top award in the DepEd NSTF 2020 Physical Science Team Category.

    On the other hand, Negros Occidental National Science High School student Marian Ledesma was honored for studying the potential of EDTA-MGO, a magnetic nanoadsorbent from graphite, in removing organic pollutants from water and making the adsorbent easily retrievable after use. Her research won top awards in the Physical Science Individual Category with potential use in the improvement of water purification systems.

    Gerardo Rafael Tallador and Ray Vincent Pelayo, also from the INSHS, took home one of the Life Science Team Category trophies with their study on 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.

    Another trophy-earning invention was a smartphone-controlled device which can be used in oil cleanup developed by Franklin Razon from the Bansud National High School in Oriental Mindoro. Made up of dried patola, coconut husk, arduino modules, PVC pipes, and other repurposed materials, the device is designed to float and retrieve oil from water. The ingenuous product netted Razon the top award in the Robotics and Intelligent Machines Individual Category.

    Meanwhile, Adoniram Balagtas, Chloe Heather Ellano, and Thea Marie Lumabi from the Caloocan National Science and Technology High School developed an Arduino-based anti-theft, alcohol-sensing, and collision-sensing helmet which could contribute to improving road safety for motorcycle riders. Their prototype programmed to have driver protection features won them the top award in the Robotics and Intelligent Machines Team Category.

    Next geniuses were Juan R. Liwag Memorial High School students Arabelle Santos, Jesscel Mae Libiran, and Giuliana Anupol who studied the potential of the “takip-kuhol” plant in possibly reducing alcohol dependency and mitigating the effects of alcoholism using fruit flies as subjects. Their study won one of the top awards in the Life Science Team Category.

    “GBF congratulates this year’s GBF Young Scientist Awardees for their admirable work. By recognizing these young scientists and sharing about their work through this celebration, we hope to inspire more young people to appreciate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) research, and seek innovations that help their own communities. Now more than ever, we would want our learners to realize the crucial importance of STEM and for them to be encouraged to be movers in these fields,” said Grace Colet, GBF Executive Director.