Following a record-breaking 614 medals from international science and mathematics competitions in 2015, the country’s young wizards continue to pen their names in the history books with the national teams netting a total of 821 medals in 2016, up 33.7 percent from the previous mark.
At the Youth Excellence in Science (YES) Awards — an annual event organized by the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) that recognizes students who win gold, silver and bronze medals in world science and mathematics contests — DOST secretary Fortunato de la Peña presented the medals to the awardees from Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
The ceremony was held on Feb. 1 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila.
Of the total tally, 446 come from the national capital region, while 375 come from the other regions.
Philippine Science High School – Main Campus garnered the most number of international medals with 60, followed by Grace Christian College and St. Jude Catholic School with 37 apiece.
Three other schools had 20 or more awardees, namely, De La Salle Santiago Zobel (23), Dr. Yanga’s Colleges Inc. (21), and Makati Hope Christian School (20).
“I cannot contain my joy, not only because this is a proof that Filipinos are doing much better in the fields of math and science; but this is a proof that our future is very promising,” he said.
Aside from the number of awardees, Dela Pena highlighted the notable victories last year, in particular, the country’s best finish at the prestigious International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), where the team brought home the first two gold medals in history, along with two silvers and two honorable mentions.
De la Peña also noted the wins and the successful hosting of the 5th ASEAN Plus Three Junior Science Odyssey and the 23rd Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum Side events in the Philippines last year as great signs of improved competencies.
In his keynote message, De la Peña also remarked that the more honors the country reaps, the more Filipinos believe in the value of science and technology in the development.
“Providing solutions to different national issues and problems remains a daunting task but we firmly believe that the S&T sector has a great role towards our progress,” he added. “You have all the skills and knowledge, and we at DOST believe that the future of this country is in great hands and minds.”
Meanwhile, top YES Awardees Farrell Eldrian Wu of MGC New Life Christian Academy and Kyle Patrick Dulay of Philippine Science High School (PSHS) Main Campus — the two IMO gold medalists — shared their stories before their fellow medalists and urged them to continue to pursue excellence.
Likewise, Hillary Diane Andales, who received a Special YES Award for winning the Popular Vote Award and finishing sixth at the 2016 Breakthrough Junior Challenge, addressed her peers to not be afraid of failures and repeats.