10th Grader Invents Solar-Powered Illegal-Logging Detection Device

Student researchers showcased their works at the 2019 National Science and Technology Fair.

(SPOT.ph) Filipinos don't fall behind when it comes to science and research. There's Josephine Santiago-Bond, the Filipino engineer who has successfully made a name for herself as one of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's chief staff. Many Filipino innovators have made breakthroughs in different fields, and the future of research is looking even brighteryoung innovators from all over the Philippines have come together for the 2019 National Science and Technology Fair, bearing sustainable solutions to problems faced by many Filipino communities.

The winning team will represent the Philippines at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. 
PHOTO Courtesy of Gokongwei Brothers Foundation
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The annual science and technology research and innovation competition was made possible through the Department of Education and the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation. Held at the Tagaytay International Convention Center from February 18 to 22, the science fair showcased 51 works by students from both public and private high schools from different regions. Participants were encouraged to come up with research geared towards solving "the problems of today and tomorrow."

The student researchers competed according to three categories: Life Science, Physical Science, and Robotics and Intelligent Machines.

One of the winning projects was a device that can detect illegal-logging activities in an area. It was developed by tenth-grader Maryjoise Karla Buan.
PHOTO Courtesy of Gokongwei Brothers Foundation
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Grade 10 student Maryjoise Karla Buan is just one of the 29 individual participants who joined the competition. Her hometown in Pangasinan gives her an unobstructed view of the mountains, which now reveal parched and barren land due to illegal logging practices in the area. 

Prompted by the sight, Buan created a device to detect signs of activities leading to deforestation. The solar-powered alert system can detect signs of slash-and-burn logging activities through flame, smoke, vibration, and sound sensors. If it detects any suspicious activities, it will send a text message to alert concerned authorities.

Buan's device is one of the Best 6 Projects of the 2019 National Science and Technology Fair (NSTF) under the Robotics category. Other individual winners include Maria Isabel Layson, whose Life Science project looked into the anti-diabetic properties of "aratiles," and Nathaniel Reyes, whose Physical Science study focused on preventing harmful algal blooms from contaminating shellfish.

On the other hand, the team winners include Alpha Kassandra Leonille Acain, Lester John Sabadao, and Lia Denise Tan for Robotics; Neil David Cayanan, Shaira Gozun, and E'van Relle Tongol for Physical Science; and John Eric Aggarao, Kathleen Chloie Antonio, and Anna Beatriz Suavengco for Life Science.

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From these projects, the Department of Education (DepEd) will select the official delegates to represent the country to the 2019 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. on May 13 to 19. Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) will be sponsoring the official  delegates' trip to the fair and their expenses during the competition. Plus, they will be conferred the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation Young Scientist Award. 

"Any creation, any learning and innovation output should be a solutiona response to a community concern," DepEd Undersecretary Lorna Dig Dino said in her keynote address during the opening ceremony.

"[The National Science and Technology Fair] promotes Science and Technology consciousness among the youth by enabling them to promote and present Science researches and projects," says the Department of Education in statement.  

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