By Gina V. Rodriguez
LEGAZPI CITY --- A research on a circuit breaker with fire sensor won for five students from Camarines Sur National High School (CSNHS) the top award among high school students in the recently concluded invention contest of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Bicol.
Their work was named one of the five major winners of the Bicol Regional Invention and Contests and Exhibits (BRICE), a highlight of the Regional Science and Technology Week (RSTW) held September 26-28 at the Legazpi City Convention Center.
DOST-Bicol, its network consortia and partners from the academe, local government units, government line agencies and private sector celebrated RSTW with the theme “Science for the People.”
The five CSNHS students -- Jobert Alpe, Stephen Felix, Matthew Kevin Reyes, Francis Tanay and Iris Oresca, who submitted the entry “Arduino-based: GSM Operated Circuit Breaker with Fire Sensor,” won the “Most Outstanding Creative Research,” also called “Sibol Award for high school.”
DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña, who was keynote speaker during the opening day activities, said some student entries in the contest were of “very good quality that give us lots of hope and encouragement that in the future our quality of inventions will be much better.”
Students from as far as Cataingan, Masbate and Vinzons, Camarines Norte had submitted entries to the invention contest.
The five CSNHS students joined 54 other researchers, designers and makers who qualified from among 104 submitted entries in the five categories of BRICE.
These five categories were Outstanding Creative Research or Sibol Award for High School with 24 qualifiers, Sibol Award for College-14, Outstanding Creative Research or Likha Award-8, Outstanding Utility Model-5, and Outstanding Industrial Design-3.
Aside from high school students the other competitors in BRICE were college students and teachers from public high schools and state colleges and universities and private inventors.
The winner of Sibol Award for College was the team of Mark Ian Edma, Aldin Nierva, Juli Ann Quicay of the Bicol University College of Agriculture and Forestry or BUCAF in Guinobatan, Albay who won for a “multi-defibering machine” using selected agricultural waste materials.
Three teachers from Tabaco National High School-–Ronaldo Reyes, Editha Bonaobra and Aurea Biron received the Likha award for their “synthesis of bioethanol from Eddoe Tubers through SLSF.”
Dr. Nicanor Balbin of Bicol University won for his “variable engine valve spring compressor” in the utility model category while the group of Jose Tunay III, Michael Barbecho and Romeo Morcilla of Partido State University in Goa, Camarines Sur won in the industrial design category for their “hydraulic leaf spring suspension bushing removal/installer.”
DOST-Bicol Director Tomas B. Briñas said “creative researches” are advanced researches that are ready for patenting but applications for patent have yet to be filed.
He said that in contrast those working on utility models have come up with innovations which have been registered with the “Property Office.”
Aside from BRICE, RSTW featured 14 priority programs of DOST, especially the products of its assisted firms through its banner program Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SET-UP involving micro small and medium enterprises or MSMEs.
DOST-Bicol spearheaded RSTW with support from the Technology Application and Promotion Institute or TAPI and the three science and technology networks such as Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development or BCAARRD, Bicol Consortium for Health Research and Development or BCHRD, and Bicol Consortium for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development or BCIEERD.
The Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology or Phivolcs, weather and climate authority PAGASA and Philippine Science High School-BRC assisted in the event.
Briñas said the three-day event, which showcased the output of researchers and inventors, was an affirmation that at the heart of science and technology innovations are the efforts to provide “better lives and bigger opportunities” to empower the Filipino.
He said RSTW is hoping for a “smarter, livable, safer and empowered Bicol region.”
Winners in this year’s BRICE, which is conducted every other year and alternately with the National Invention Contests and Exhibit, will represent the Bicol region in the national contest in July 2018.