FPLA hosts first Philippine International Science Fair
(The Philippine Star) - February 21, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Science is no longer just the domain of the geeks and the geniuses — now, it also belongs to the larger community that is starting to embrace and accept it as essential in people’s lives.

The success of the first Philippine International Science Fair (PISF) is proof that yes, not everyone may become a great scientist like Einstein or an inventor like Edison, but it can come from among the 200 or more student-participants from not only the top caliber science-oriented schools in the Philippines but also the brightest minds from neighbors in the Asian region like Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

And the First Pacific Leadership Academy (FPLA), the corporate university for global leaders and innovators, is proud to be one of the partners and the official host for the four-day event that took place last Feb. 3-6 in Antipolo City.

Organized by the Philippine Science High School System (PSHSS) in partnership with FPLA, and in cooperation with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Education (DepEd), it culminated with a science congress held at the FPLA grounds and a community science fair that was attended by more than 3,000 public and science high school students and enthusiasts.

The event gave a chance for the young science researchers, foreign and local, to show off their inventions and findings in areas like animal science, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering, material engineering, environment, robotics, mathematics, medicine, microbiology and plant science.

Dr. Josette Biyo, PSHSS executive director and the brains behind the international scientific event, is grateful that they were able to organize such a big event.

“The PISF is the product of more than three years of convening the Philippine Science High School Fair, which we were able to successfully hold with the help of the FPLA, which shared not only their place but also their learning solutions, manpower and time in order to make it successful. FPLA has also been instrumental in the publication of these researches into the annual scientific journal called ‘DocuSiyensiya.’ Now, we are glad to be able to raise the bar of scientific learning in the country and put the Philippines in the map of progressive nations through this major event,” Biyo said.

The fair, the first of its kind in the Philippines, was a fitting venue and forum to showcase the brightest young minds not only in the country but also in Asia.

“The International Science Fair is just proof that our high school students, who have been winning in various international science fairs and science/mathematics competitions, are at par or even some of the best in the world. At the same time, by making scientific research more popular and something to be appreciated by a larger audience of students, FPLA is helping promote a culture of science not only among the science community but also to society in general,” said Roy Agustin Evalle, general manager for First Pacific Leadership Succession and Development.

“Our chairman in FPLA, Manuel V. Pangilinan, strongly advocates for a culture of innovation and development among the youth, whom he believes is the hope of this country’s future. This is shown through his tremendous support for the many projects that involve education, science, technology and the youth,” Evalle said.

“One of these would be the IdeaSpace Foundation in order for young scientists to be able to market their ideas in a growing industry hinged on innovation. Also, as a corporate university that wants to develop future leaders in business and technology, FPLA has shown and will continue to support Dr. Biyo and the (PSHSS) as they embark on putting the Philippines as one of the countries with a strong culture of science,” Evalle added.

Aside from the delegates coming from the 12 campuses of the PSHSS, schools like the Quezon City Science High School, Caloocan City Science High School, Makati Science High School, Pasig City Science High School, Pasay City Science High School, De La Salle University Integrated School, Malayan High School of Science, Raffles Institution and Hwa Chong Institution (Singapore), Korea Science Academy of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology or KAIST (South Korea), Kaoshiung Municipal Senior High School (Taiwan) and Mahidol Wittayanusam School (Thailand) also presented some of their delegates’ science projects in the PISF Science Congress held at the FPLA Academic Hall on the inaugural day.

Various experts such as professors from universities like UP and Ateneo de Manila served as panel evaluators, helping the students improve their presentation as they showcased their work to a larger audience.

The students also got to meet some of the luminaries of science through a special program called “Time with the Experts,” where they listened and interacted with a select lineup of science champions, like National Scientist and L’Oreal-UNESCO Woman of Science Awardee Dr. Lourdes Cruz (Biology and Marine Science), solar power generation expert from the ADB Silverio Navarro Jr., Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYPW) recipient and HIV awareness advocate Dr. Edsel Maurice Salvaña, and Smart Communications’ head of corporate development and innovation and president of IdeaSpace Foundation (a technopreneurship think tank under the Metro Pacific Group) Earl Martin Valencia.

The highlight of the fair was the PISF Community Fair held at the Ynares Sports Center, where high school students from Antipolo City, Rizal province and Metro Manila viewed the exhibits and exchanged ideas with the delegates.

It was inaugurated by Biyo, Evalle, Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Science and Technology Undersecretary Fortunato de la Peña (representing Secretary Mario Montejo), Commission on Higher Education chairperson Dr. Patricia Benitez–Licuanan, and Rizal Gov. Dr. Casimiro Ynares III.

To know more about FPLA’s leadership and management programs, call 632-8111 or log on to www.fpacademy.net. The FPLA is located at Km. 27, Sumulong Highway, Antipolo City.

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