Pitogo High School once again dominated the playing field with its do-it-all robot to secure the best win-draw-loss record at the end of eliminations and be crowned as the Best Team while the duo of Malabon National High School and Caloocan National Science High School emerged as the Best Alliance in the recently-concluded “2019 Tagisang Robotics: Design, Build and Play Competition” held on November 19-20 at the PICC in Pasay City.
Pitogo HS, which won as Best Rookie Team and Best Team in 2013 and again as Best Team in 2014, showed no rust and proved among the 16 school teams that they are still the team-to-beat in the returning robotics competition. However, they failed to advance to the final round where the fourth ranked alliance of Malabon NHS and Caloocan NSHS shocked the top three pairings to emerge as victors.
Pitogo HS “Thunderbots” is composed of students Luke Alexander Pons, Nathaniel Macato, Jamella Marisse Ragasa, and Althea Maratas. As Best Team, they bagged P100,000 cash prize and a trophy.
Winners of the Best Alliance Award brought home P150,000. They are Caloocan NSHS students Lance Chrysler De Jesus, Andrei Rouiz Pascual, Danna Mae Ermino, and Louise Gwen Pascual and Malabon NHS students John Adrian Cruz, Ana Jireh Mabulac, Lee Ann Domingo, and Wendell Cabuello.
Pitogo HS coach Florante Ferrer also won P30,000, while the winning alliance coaches, Caloocan NSHS coach Rex Mendel Capili and Malabon NHS coach Franco Mendoza Jr., got P15,000 each.
The top four teams after eliminations, namely, Pitogo HS, Rizal HS, Makati HS, Malabon National HS, were rewarded with the chance to pick their alliance member from schools ranked five to 16. During the draft, the teams chose Rizal NHS, Senator Renato “Compañero” Cayetano Memorial Science and Technology, Valenzuela School of Math and Science, and Caloocan NSHS, respectively. The four alliances battled in the semifinals to gain the two slots in the best-to-two finals.
This year’s Tagisang Robotics, which returned after its last staging in 2014, featured a new game inspired by basketball. The Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) brought back the program to strengthen its promotion of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers especially as the need for robotics skills are advantageous in many industries.
“We’re very glad with how this activity came back as the challenges are more complicated than in the previous years. We felt like it’s high time for us to bring back this competition given that we are facing many changes in our industries. We don’t want our students unprepared and unfit when they enter the workforce,” DOST-SEI director Josette Biyo remarked.
Biyo said the investments that DOST-SEI made for the kits, trainings, and others will prove worthy when the students pick STEM courses in college and eventually careers in the same fields.
“We’re striving to develop a strong pool of STEM professionals because that’s our weapon towards development. We need highly trained people in our current industries and we need people to develop new industries, and we believe we’re doing the right step through this competition,” Biyo said.