PASIG CITY, February 13, 2019 – The Department of Education (DepEd), through its Bureau of Curriculum Development-Curriculum Standards Development Division (BCD-CSDD) and in cooperation with the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF), is set to showcase the research and innovation of the country’s top young scientists in the 2019 National Science and Technology Fair (NSTF), which will be held from February 18 to 22 at Tagaytay International Convention Center in Tagaytay City, Cavite.

DepEd’s foremost program that aims to foster critical thinking, creativity, and innovation among students, NSTF promotes Science and Technology consciousness among the youth by enabling them to produce and present Science researches and projects.

“Children in this digital age are very much into gadgets, robotics, and technology that our generation could only imagine, or see in films and read in books. Things have really changed, and it is challenging to catch up but these advancements are becoming indispensable not only in education but practically in all aspects of life. This is why the Department continuously advocates the cultivation of curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, and innovation among our youth—to enable and nurture the country’s generation of globally competitive innovators,” DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones remarked.

Twenty-nine individual participants and 22 teams from private and public high schools in Regions I, II, III, IV-A (CALABARZON), IV-B (MIMAROPA), V, VI, VII, VIII, X, XI, XII, XIII (CARAGA), Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and National Capital Region (NCR) will compete in the following categories: Life Science, Physical Science, and Robotics and Intelligent Machines.

The winning projects shall be selected based on outstanding and innovative research, as well as the potential impact on creating solutions to the problems of today and tomorrow. The participants shall vie for the following: top 3 projects per category, best 6 projects of NSTF, Gokongwei Brothers Foundation Young Scientist Award, and Gawad AGLITEKNO [Agham, Likha at Teknolohiya].

To encourage community awareness and support to the research and innovations of the participants, NSTF is open to the public (free of charge) on February 20, Wednesday.

Fostering the future of STEM in PH
For the first time, NSTF winners who shall comprise the Philippine delegation to the 2019 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, Arizona, USA on May 12-17 will receive the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation Young Scientist Award, and the GBF’s support for travel and lodging expenses, allowances, and visa fees.

GBF was established in 1992 with the goal of having lasting impact on education in the Philippines. Guided by its mission to build the future through education, GBF’s core thrust is advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

“GBF believes that quality STEM education is the driving force for sustainable national development. We work toward igniting interest and upholding excellence in STEM among the youth. Through DepEd’s 2019 NSTF, we are honored to support future leaders in the field, our young Filipino science researchers and innovators in K to 12,” GBF Executive Director Grace Colet stated.

“It is an undeniable fact that community and industry partnerships play a significant role as a support mechanism in realizing and reinforcing the K to 12 Program. This is the kind of support that benefits all stakeholders of the basic education sector, most especially the learners, whose learning outputs accomplished in the annual National Science and Technology Fair are exhibited to the public through the help of the various industry partners, for the purposes of solution generation, knowledge sharing, community engagement, and industry collaboration,” BCD Director Jocelyn D.R. Andaya noted.

Since DepEd’s management of NSTF in 2006, the country has sent 87 student delegates to compete in the Intel ISEF. Fourteen qualifiers have won and even have had asteroids named after them.

Innovating solutions for the community
Equally significant activities of NSTF also include the first National Science Innovation Expo where individual and group participants from 11 qualifying regions shall exhibit their innovation targeted at bringing solutions to pressing challenges in the community. The most innovative creation shall be awarded the Gawad AGLITEKNO. The Expo shall also serve as a crowdsourcing venue that encourages exchange of ideas among learners, teachers, industry partners, and specialists.

Aside from the research competition, the NSTF Education Academy and Science Academy shall also be conducted to provide the participants with a learning and development opportunity through different shop talks targeted at promoting innovation, creativity, and excellence in science and research education.

NSTF is an Intel-affiliated exhibit that dates back to 2003 when the “1st National Science Quiz and Science Fair” was conducted. It then underwent different name changes and branched into different national activities: the “2nd National Science Quiz, Sci-Dama and Science Fair” in 2004; the “Intel Philippines Science Fair” in 2005; the “3rd National Science Quiz, Science Fair and Sci-Dama,” “National Intel Philippines Science Fair,” and “DepEd-Intel Philippines Science Fair” in 2006; the “National Level DepEd-Intel Philippine Science Fair” in 2007; the “National Children’s Science Fair” in 2008; until it became the “National Level Science and Technology Fair” in 2010.

Other NTSF sponsors include One Meralco and World Intellectual Property Organization.