July appears to be a very good month for Filipinos, particularly those competing in Australian competitions. A couple weeks back, 11 year-old Sean Patrick Villanueva placed second at this year’s Speedcubing Championships. Prior to that, it seems, a group of Filipino youths also distinguished themselves in a similar fashion.
Gracean Whiz Bags Silver Award for Gracious Professionalism in Sydney FLL
Last 4-7 July, Sydney’s Macquarie University hosted this year’s FIRST Lego League (FLL) Asia Pacific Open Championship. (FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.) About 43 teams from 21 different countries participated in the competition, each one facing challenges that ultimately tested their problem-solving, research, engineering, and coding skills.
Two teams represented the Philippines. First, there was Grace Christian College’s “Gracean Whiz.” They then received the Silver Award for Gracious Professionalism. The latter pertains to the ethos of encouraging high-quality work, emphasizing the value of others, and respecting the individuals and the community.
Furthermore, Gracean Whiz ranked seventh in the robot game. They also garnered high accolades for their “Infinity Board” project, a portable tabletop board game system for astronauts.
The said team was comprised of ten Grace Christian College high school students, namely:
Alexis Diane Ngo
Kylie Danielle Sy
Ethan Russell Uy
Zoe Angeli Uy
Heart Bernice Tan
Gen Bernardine Dy
Denzell Robyn Dy
Chrysille Grace So
Filipinos’ Growing Interest and Talent in Robotics
In the same manner, the other team representing the Philippines didn’t go home empty-handed. Angeles City’s Livingstone International College performed equally well. They got into the Top 3 in Teamwork – Core Values for their Project Spirulina. The latter specifically pertains to the cultivation of Spirulina, a bioluminescent bacteria that can produce energy in space.
Consequently, Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) Director Dr. Josette Biyo congratulated the participants. She also thanked the national organizer, Felta Multi-Media, for their part in yet another Filipino victory in the international robotics arena.
“These are truly impressive wins and indicative of Filipinos’ growing interest and talent in robotics. But more than that, we thank the team for exemplifying the values we hope all our young scientists would possess,” Dr. Biyo said.
While perusing the daily news makes me shake my head, hearing about the Filipino youth achieving such milestones does compensate for it somehow. Our world leaders may exasperate us with their antics these days, but the next generation does give us cause for hope.