The future is now: Students show off their robotic creations
Mindanao kids are ‘Kabataan Inyovators’
(The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2020 - 12:00am

Public schools from Regions 11 (Davao) and 12 (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos) bagged the most number of wins at the recent “Kabataan Inyovator: An Aboitiz Robotics competition.”

A project of the Aboitiz Foundation and Davao Light, in partnership with Pinoy Robot Games, Ateneo De Davao University, and Department of Education — Davao City, the competition aims to introduce innovation and robotics in solving community problems, and launch the Aboitiz Group’s efforts on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) track.

Philippine Science High School (Region 11), Esperanza National High School (Region 12), and Laguilayan National High School all received four medals each (a mix of gold, silver, and bronze).

Aside from trophies and medals, the winning teams received robotics kits for their respective schools. The robot kits will allow the students to code and program their robots based on a desired function by only using a laptop or a smartphone.

Innovative Tech Compitition

Recently, 278 elementary, high school, and college students from 50 Visayas and Mindanao schools competed at Kabataan Inyovator at the Ateneo De Davao University.

The event brought to life innovative ideas in solving community problems through technology and invention. It gave the students the opportunity to showcase their robot-building skills. Prior to the competition, students from 20 Davao Light beneficiary public schools in Davao City joined a two-day robotics training program, further helping them during the event.

Robot games categories during the event included Line Tracing, Sumobot, Mystery Robot, Mission Harvest, Robot Rugby, Underwater Robotics, and Innovative.

Davao Light president Rodger S. Velasco emphasized the value of learning robotics at an early age. “Continuous improvements in technology and new innovations make the world move faster,” said Rodger Velasco. “We need to keep up. It is best to learn robotics while you are still young and learning the skill will help you improve other aspects of your development such as critical thinking, logical and analytical reasoning, creativity and strategic problem-solving, which are very helpful to become competitive in the future’s workforce.”

The competition was also graced by Diosdado Angelo Mahipus Jr., City Councilor of Davao City who expressed that the Kabataan Inyovator project plays a transformative role in the minds of the young science enthusiasts.

“We hope that this competition will lay the foundation for you to develop meaningful skills that will serve as your weapons in this knowledge-based economy,” said Mahipus. 

Aboitiz and Robots

In line with the government’s recognition of science and technology as “essential for nationalism, development, invention, innovation and their utilization,” Kabataan Inyovator represents the Aboitiz Group’s next level of support following its earlier Special Science Elementary Schools (SSES) initiatives.

Aside from promoting the Aboitiz core values of innovation and teamwork, Kabataan Inyovator aims to provide supplemental support to the beneficiaries of the Special Science Elementary Schools (SSES) through practical applications in the robotics competition and increase STEM brand and corporate social responsibility awareness by allowing youth to apply learnings through invention.

The Aboitiz Group has been a long-time supporter of SSES development. Through the Aboitiz Foundation’s Education Program, the Group has constructed SSES classrooms, trained teachers, and donated SSES equipment.

The robotics event was witnessed by Abram Abanil, director of the Information and Communication Technology Services of Department of Education; Jerry Eliab, executive vice president of Ateneo De Davao University; Fr. Charlie Cenzon, school administrator of Ateneo De Davao University, and Melvin Matulac, founder of Pinoy Robot Games.

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