Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Speed of Light Re-Visited

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, June 30, 2016


This was written by a volunteer for the 2016 Discovery Science Camp held at the Philippine Science High School. Instead of being one of the “Innovators”, the contributor returned as a volunteer to facilitate the  Science Camp.

299,792,458 meters per second

That’s the speed of light, the fastest one as scientists say; but we do believe that something’s faster than that.

It was about a year ago when we were invited to attend to a Science Camp we knew nothing about – but we applied anyways. We just thought it was just about science, like things we encounter inside the classroom; however, the word science is too broad to even think of the possible things that could happen during the camp.

Just like how things could get random in science, the camp itself was intriguingly random – you get to learn things you never thought you would, and we got to ask things that we never thought of asking. It was just so random that you could never get enough of it.

As a former camper, turning into a volunteer was an exciting experience for us. It was a bit nostalgic to think that we were just right at their feet a year ago, experimenting happily with the things given to us. But now, we are one of the facilitators we once dreamt of, giving these set of campers their chance of experiencing the once in a lifetime moment we the former campers have treasured in our hearts.

And now, after a year, we are back again at the same front lobby that welcomed us before, but now we are here not as campers, but as the facilitators ourselves. What made us come back? We can give answers as much as the number of stars in the universe with that question.

It was an overwhelming feeling seeing our fellow campers succeeding activities and challenges that we've surpassed before. It was like a legacy brought down to them. It was a privilege for the both of us to be in one of the positions that were able to get really close to the campers.

As Pau Joquino, ISIP co-founder, said: “It’s no longer just an idea. It's people, it's experiences, it's hopes - it's a community.” But as time goes by, ISIP and the camp itself is a family for us Pioneers (Batch 2015 campers now volunteers). And this camp, our bond with everyone especially with the “Innovators” (Batch 2016 campers) came by too fast, possibly faster than the speed of light.






Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Filipina Student: Best Oral Presentor in International Science Fair

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, June 29, 2016


A Filipina student was recently hailed as the best oral presentor in an international science fair at the National University of Singapore-High School of Math and Science, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said.

In a statement, the DOST said that Marla Abao, incoming Grade 11 student at Philippine Science High School, bagged the Best Oral Presentation award at the 12th International Student Science Fair  last May 23-27 for her research “An Android Application for Efficient Disaster Kit Procurement for Low-Level Floods”.

“It’s an android application my team mates (Rodrigo Perando and Kyle Dulay) and I programmed. It uses modified routing and shopping algorithms so that you can deliver your disaster kits at the quickest and best route at the minimum cost,” Abao said in an interview with the Manila Bulletin.

“Google Maps and the file manipulation property in Java were used so that it makes it easier for the program to adapt in different locations, which means the concept of the automated disaster kit procurement system could work virtually everywhere (where flood happens),” the 16-year-old junior scientist added.

To realize the magnitude of Abao and her teammates’ feat, they bested 28 other teams chosen to present their project out of the more than 40  projects that were registered from over 15 countries around the world.

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/pisay-student-bags-top-honors-in-intl-science-fair/#g44Bq4hyY7mVfEt7.99






Thursday, June 23, 2016

Quo Vadis CHED?

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) was established on May 18, 1994 based on the Higher Education Act of 1994 or Republic Act No. 7722. It was sponsored by then Sen. Francisco Tatad. The mandate of CHED  covers post-secondary  public and private educational institutions and includes all degree granting programs.

The Powers and Functions of the CHED are the following:
      
        1.    Formulate and recommend development plans, policies, priorities, and programs on research;
       
        2.    Recommend to the executive and legislative branches priorities and grants on higher education and research;
       
        3.    Set minimum standards for programs and institutions of higher learning recommended by panels of experts in the field and subject to public hearing, and enforced the same;
       
        4.    Monitor and evaluate the performance of programs and institutions of higher learning for appropriate incentives as well as the imposition of sanctions such as, but not limited to, diminution or withdrawal of subsidy, recommendation on the downgrading or withdrawal of accreditation, program termination or school course;
       
        5.    Identify, support and develop potential centers of excellence in program areas needed for the development of world-class scholarship, nation building and national development;
       
        6.    Recommend to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) the budgets of public institutions of higher learning as well as general guidelines for the use of their income;
       
        7.    Rationalize programs and institutions of higher learning and set standards, policies and guidelines for the creation of new ones as well as the conversion or elevation of schools to institutions of higher learning, subject to budgetary limitations and the number of institutions of higher learning in the province or region where creation, conversion or elevation is sought to be made;
       
        8.    Develop criteria for allocating additional resources such as research and program development grants, scholarships, and the other similar programs: Provided, that these shall not detract from the fiscal autonomy already enjoyed by colleges and universities;
       
        9.    Direct or redirect purposive research by institutions of higher learning to meet the needs of agro-industrialization and development;
       
        10.    Devise and implement resource development schemes;
       
        11.    Administer the Higher Education Development Fund, as described in Section 10 of R.A. 7722, which will promote the purposes of higher education;
       
        12.    Review the charters of institutions of higher learning and state universities and colleges including the chairmanship and membership of their governing bodies and recommend appropriate measures as basis for necessary action;
       
        13.    Promulgate such rules and regulations and exercise such other powers and functions as may be necessary to carry out effectively the purpose and objectives of R.A. 7722; and
       
        14.    Perform such other functions as may be necessary for its effective operations and for the continued enhancement, growth and development of higher education.

Having such a mandate and power over the educational system of the country, CHED is one of the troika of the Philippine Educational System. The other two are the DepEd and the TESDA.

CHED as mentioned has the power over policy and programs with regards  to higher education and Higher Educational Institutions or HEIs. Thus, not only is CHED have power over the educational system but also in the economy of the country wherein the professionals are one of the key resources.

The CHED Chairman is appointed by the President and the CHED is under the administrative control of the Office of the President. The CHED Chairman has a term of 4 years and  and if reappointed has a fixed term of another 4 years. The current CHED Chairman is Patricia Licuanan who was appointed in 2010 and reappointed in 2014. Her term expires on the year 2018.

Interregnum

The pronouncement of President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte that Lyceum of the Philippines Professor  Jose David Lapuz has muddled up the functions of CHED since LIcuanan has a fixed term of serving until 2018. Now presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo has demurred the announcement of Lapuz taking over Licuanan’s position at the CHED.

Also, Executive Assistant Christopher Go said in a statement that Licuanan will retain her post since it is a fixed term.

Licuanan stated that “Everything is unpredictable at the moment but I do have a term until 2018”.

This notwithstanding reactions from netizens and former students of Lapuz questioning his qualifications in heading the CHED.

Lapuz was a former political science professor of President-Elect Duterte in the 1960s at the Lyceum of the Philippines.

This comes at a time when a new schoolyear is about to commence and that CHED is a vital government arm in the country’s economic system.

Aside from Licuanan, CHED has also Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries that are presidential appointees.

Sources: Readings from :








Monday, June 20, 2016

Pinoy perfect: Scholar aces 4 years in Toronto university

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, June 20, 2016

Magno Guidote, 25, missed the June 15 graduation rites at the University of Toronto.

That, however, has not diminished the luster of the Rundle Gold Medal, an award bestowed on him for achieving a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average (CGPA) in the bachelor of commerce program at the Rotman School of Management.

With the distinction, he has joined the ranks of Blackberry-Research in Motion cofounder Jim Balsillie and Manulife president and CEO Donald Guloien as distinguished alumni of the Canadian university.

Guidote’s nonattendance at the graduation also did not dampen his enthusiasm to share his achievements and experiences as a Filipino scholar determined to overcome all kinds of challenges.

He was in the country for a monthlong vacation before he began working for a Singapore-based management consulting firm. He said he was spending some time with his family since it had been two years since he last came home.

Guidote and his two siblings were single-handedly raised by mom Angel on a clerk’s salary.  For their early education, he acknowledged the contributions of his mother’s 12 siblings.

Maisie Meneses, an aunt who is a professor at Bicol University, said  it might have been her nephew’s family situation that made him more determined in achieving his goals.

Guidote told the Inquirer he knew early on that education was important. So he took his chances when one of his aunts sent him a newspaper ad of the Singapore Embassy’s call for applications to its Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Scholarships program in 2007.

At the time he took the exam for the Singapore scholarship, which aims “to provide opportunities to the young people of Asean to develop their potential and equip them with important skills for the 21st century,” he was at the top of his junior high school class at St. Agnes Academy in Legazpi City.

He learned, however, that he was only considered for the scholarship interview because of his excellent command of the English language and his critical thinking skills.  He was told his skills in mathematics were not at par with Singapore’s strict educational standards.

Assuring the grantors that he would work on his math skills if given the opportunity, Guidote received one of the nine full scholarships given to Filipinos at the time.

Moral support

As soon as he got settled in Singapore, Guidote said he made sure to work on his mathematics. Sure enough, within six months, he was able to catch up with his Singaporean peers, he said, thanks in part to the help extended to him by Filipino senior students at St. Joseph’s Institution (SJI), Singapore’s third oldest school.

Apart from helping him with his studies, his seniors also gave him moral and emotional support, especially when he was sorely missing his family. Guidote said he sometimes cried himself to sleep at night.

“It was really tough. I remember that, for the first six months, I was very homesick,” Guidote said.

His mom, during their long-distance talks, would always remind him: “You wanted this; think of the reason why you wanted this and go back to those reasons.” One of the reasons, he said, was to help ensure a better life for their family.

The strict study habits practiced throughout Singapore that he eventually imbibed, Guidote said, helped him graduate from SJI’s international baccalaureate program as one of the top students.

He also managed to squeeze in some volunteer work with Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics, a nongovernment organization that trains, shelters and supports abused overseas migrant workers, including Filipinos.

When the time came for him to apply for college admission, Guidote said he thought of aiming for a foreign university education “to seize the opportunity and continue to push myself.”

With a primary goal of finding a full scholarship that would cover all his expenses—since he had no way of funding himself—Guidote applied to various universities in the United States, Canada, Australia and the Middle East.

 Rejection

The first response he received was a letter of rejection from Australia’s Queensland University.
“I was doing really well [up until then] so I was kind of disappointed,” he said, “but at the same time [I was] reminded that life wasn’t going to be always smooth sailing; that there would be setbacks.”

The reality check brought bright news soon enough when acceptance letters arrived from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, New York University Abu Dhabi and the University of Toronto. Guidote chose the third, a public research university in Canada.

Though now a world away from Singapore’s strict culture, Guidote said he still strove to get good grades because of the extra C$1,000 given to students who achieve a 3.5 GPA. He said  he needed the extra money because of the high cost of living in Canada, adding that he didn’t want his family to send him money.

He said he didn’t expect a perfect GPA of 4.0 in his first year but managed to do it. The next year, he recalled being warned by one of his advisers that usually students got lower grades in their second year. A 3.5 GPA would be fine, he told himself.

When he got the perfect GPA again in his second year, he began to feel an “internal pressure” to try for a sweep. In his fourth year, he said, he stopped attending university socials to work harder on his studies.

After his grades for his last two subjects came last month, confirming that he would be graduating with a 4.0 CGPA, Guidote said, he first broke the news to his mom.

 Guiding light

“She was so happy she sent out the news via our family Viber group,” said Guidote, who said his mother and the rest of the family served as his guiding light through the years.

He hopes to be able to give back to society for all the opportunities given him—a vision that  his aunt Maisie also shares.  “It is really a priority of mine. I’ve had so many blessings and opportunities. I don’t say this for drama.  It is truly my goal to think of a way in the future to help other children from underprivileged families,” he said.

His advice to students who may think that  a bright future is unachievable because of their economic status?

“Don’t be afraid to dream big,” he said. “But you have to work hard, never lose sight of your goals and use them to inspire you. Be open to failure but at the same time try to always do your best with what you have.”

Have faith, added Guidote, who always made time to pray the rosary two hours before an exam.
Next year, in fulfillment of a promise he made to make up for missing the Toronto graduation rites, Guidote will fly with his mom to Hong Kong to attend the commencement ceremonies at his alma mater’s partner university there.

Source: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/140280/pinoy-perfect-scholar-aces-4-years-in-toronto-university#ixzz4C6rrxc9A






How was the 2016 Discovery Science Camp?

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, June 20, 2016

The following are the reflections and outputs of those who attended the 2016  ISIP Discovery Science Camp:

Connections made through science

How a science camp emphasizes the role of teamwork in science

“I am among those who think that Science has a great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician, he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairytale.”
   
It was the usual first day of June and instead of lying on my bed reading Game of Thrones, here I was, standing at the front lobby of Philippine Science High School-Main Campus to learn more and appreciate Science. Discovery was certainly not the first camp I had ever attended, but by far, it was undoubtedly the best. I joined for learning, but it gave me more than just that.

INTROVERT NO MORE

If you had never been into a camp, I’ll tell you that the first day was reserved for getting to know the other campers that you would go along with for the rest of the camp. As an introvert, socializing was never been my favorite. Here, I got to meet diverse group of people, from campers to facilitators and volunteers talking and having same interests as mine. In the next few hours, I found myself enjoying playing board games with other campers- as if I already knew them before.

THE FEATHER AND ROCK

As far as the whole camp was concern,ed I classified it into feather and rock.

The feather stands for team building activities integrated with Science including the agham-azing race, workshops, quiz bees, night exploration and stargazing- the lighter part of the camp. These activities absolutely stripped off the stereotype of Science as boring and grueling subject. As a matter of fact, it was nothing but exciting and amusing.

Marie Curie once said, ‘I am among those who think that Science has a great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician, he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairytale’. If you don’t believe me, grab a cornstarch and water with 3:1 ratio and hit it hard during hell weeks, or look through a telescope and count the visible satellites of Jupiter; in case a telescope was not accessible, just lie down on the field and get fascinated to the thousands and millions of twinkling stars spreading across the sky.

Now, the rock was obviously the heavier one. This feature called Project Pitch challenged the campers to think outside the box and create both efficient and effective solutions to real-life problems such as to what we were now facing, the climate change. After identifying problems in their respective communities and localities, the campers shared ideas and later on proposed projects on how to sustain the use of food, water, and energy resources in the environment- the theme of this year’s Project Pitch.

MORE THAN SCIENTIFIC LEARNING

Ephemeral V.S. Eternal

    All activities were organized in such way that you were really having fun while learning. It would teach you that you could actually invent something while you were bored in class like Mr. Stone of Princeton University who discovered hexaflexagons, or pi was not just a food (pun intended), or an owl could eat a snake! (Like, during the Agham-azing Race, there was this station in which you have to use all the strings and connect the organisms to make a food web. We spent most of our time arguing whether or not the eagle could eat the wheat or an owl could eat the snake. Needless to say, after that activity, I never looked at the food web the same again.)

It made me hypothesize that if Science would be teach in any of these approaches or in any creative way possible, then maybe more generations of today would learn to see the elegance of Science rather than to inculcate misconceptions about it into their minds. As for common fallacies, Science was not only for scientists but for everyone to understand and enjoy. It was not found only in the four corners of laboratories with mind-puzzling apparatuses but even in the fields, oceans and skies. The whole earth and universe was in fact, everyone’s workplace and the only limit was one’s imagination.

Above anything else, this camp established ties and created bonds. Sure enough academic learning was important but nothing could replace character and attitude. It was with my firm belief that the activities would not be fruitful without teamwork and camaraderie. There, you would find people cheering up for you whenever you failed and would help you rise instead.
This camp had also made us realized that Filipinos possessed one of the most creative minds in the planet. The potential of our young scientists to make change was enormous and that in an era where learning was at hand, no one could make excuses for not being able to solve problems we were currently facing.

MORE DISCOVERIES

    The past six days were one of the most amazing experiences I ever had. I was also positive that eventually this could build a culture of science in the Philippines and would dump all misconceptions about Science. The camp has ended by now, yet I’m certain learning and discoveries would not stop. Before I forgot, I’m already looking forward to next year’s DISCOVERY!






Friday, June 17, 2016

A Brief History of ISIP and the Discovery Science Camp

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, June 17, 2016



By Paolo Francisco P. Joquino

What is your end game?

I was once asked about ISIP, “What is your end game?”

I answered with ISIP’s standard one-liner vision, “A community of service-oriented Filipino youth with an appreciation for science and technology.” I gave that line and its variations so many times in the past months I had been emailing and meeting for potential partnerships to support our organization. Somehow, in its repetition, it had lost its magic. It was no longer the same passion rolling off my tongue as when my co-founders and I banded together and agreed to contribute to science in the Philippines. As the follow-up questions came one after another, I realized that I needed an opportunity to revisit what those words mean for me and for ISIP.

Discovery Science Camp 2016 provided that opportunity. In the week that I spent with the camp core and volunteers organizing the camp, our experiences gave life to that vision. Those seven days were the most difficult days of ISIP thus far, and yet the most fulfilling for us all. It was not easy pulling together a camp that would top last year’s and set the momentum for future camps, having just come from the stressful end of a semester and looking forward to summer classes or the start of a new school year. Nevertheless, we stuck together. I realized that Discovery Science Camp is where it all begins, where the bonds are formed and lessons are learned. These bonds and lessons shape the  community that grows beyond the camp.

The flagship of Integrating Science in the Philippines (ISIP)

ISIP was founded nearly two years ago in a dormitory by three friends who wanted to change the way Filipinos view science and the role it plays in our community. We at ISIP see science as a human endeavor, a way of thinking and approaching problems, the art of asking questions and finding answers. These beliefs were formed through the experiences we have had as Pisay students in our encounters with science. We wanted to share these experiences with the youth, our peers, in the hopes that science will no longer just be a subject that needs to be passed, or an alien, intimidating topic on their news feed, but something that matters to them.

Our organization set out to do that in three ways – a magazine, a Youtube channel, and a camp. The magazine turned out to be a bigger challenge than we thought. We decided it would be too much for us to handle with everything else that was going in our lives, so we focused on the Youtube channel and camp. The Youtube channel launched in January 2015, and has since then been releasing various science videos, some devoted to explaining science concepts in Filipino, some sharing experiences of Filipino scientists and engineers, and others piquing interest in science through jokes and song. The camp took longer to take shape, but all the work paid off when we held the first Discovery Science camp in May 2015.

The Discovery Science Camp (DSC) is more than just five days of fun, science-themed workshops and activities, although that is what gets prospective participants interested. It is an experiment, for us, for the participants, and for everyone involved. For us, the camp is a way for us to test the ideas and attitudes we promote and seek to instill in the youth. Through project brainstorming sessions, we want to share to the participants that there is a thought process behind the ideas that solve problems and that the campers need to collaborate in order to develop that idea and present it. As I had them repeat several times during our sessions, “Hindi competition ang project pitch (presentation). Magtutulungan tayo. [The project pitch (presentation) is not a competition. We will help each other.]” Through the project presentation, we immerse them in an important skill – communication. Without discoveries being communicated, they cannot be translated into innovations that impact the lives of many people. Communication can make or break an appreciation and understanding of a concept or idea. By placing them in a conversation with scientists experienced in their respective fields, we provided them with a space were they could share their ideas and more importantly, ask questions. Communication, after all, is a two-way street. Through the Agham-azing race, which features skills important in the scientific approach, the science workshops, and stargazing activity, we show them that science and the scientific approach in particular, require skills and a mindset that can be found in various activities beyond the classroom. We bring science closer to home, sparking the campers’ wonder with the phenomena that can observed with everyday objects, like cornstarch, and familiar environments, like an open field of grass with the stars above.

Not only are our ideas tested, but as also our work ethic and relationships. Organizing a five-day camp is no walk in the park, and with academics, family, and other commitments on our minds, it can be difficult sometimes to keep both eyes on the road. The camp provided us organizers a space to learn more about how we work with each other, and develop our skills in handling these kinds of large-scale projects. 

The Discovery Science Camp was also an experiment for the campers. They came into these camp with their own notions of what science is, and expectations of what they would go through and learn in the next five days. Going through each day, they were provided the opportunity to test these notions and expectations, and learn from what they would discover about science and about themselves. There is no way for us to accurately measure just how much one appreciates science, but after listening to them talk about the camp and how it changed the way they see science, this spirit gives us at ISIP the drive to keep working towards building this experience of discovery for future campers.

The Discovery Science Camp is not the end of our work or the campers’ experience with ISIP. As with all experiments, it does not end with the results and discussion or conclusion. There are recommendations to be discussed, repetitions to be implemented, and even more questions to be asked. It is a never ending cycle of learning that characterizes the scientific approach we aim to impart to our campers in the five days that they spend with us. These ideas and beliefs are at the core of who we are, who ISIP is. That is why the Discovery Science Camp is the flagship project of ISIP. This is where ideas are formed and attitudes instilled, and all these serve as the foundation for the community ISIP is building.

Sustainability

The campers and my fellow organizers taught me a lot about ISIP and the community are trying to build. We are not starting from square one, and yet we still have a long way to go. We may not be able to figure everything out, but that does not matter as long as we stick together. We need diversity and at the same time, we need to be united. They sound obvious and intuitive, but seeing it in the campers and my fellow organizers is a whole different story. After hearing remarks from some of the facilitators and participants, I am very optimistic about how we can bring this further and farther, with the help of more individuals, institutions, and organizations. I have always told my fellow ISIP members that we are working towards something that is going to be bigger than any of us, and being a part of Discovery Science Camp 2016 made me realize just how big this has become, and how much more it will be.

I was once asked about ISIP, “What is your end game?”

With what I have been through in Discovery 2016, the answer can no longer be as simple as our one-liner vision. Our vision of a community of service-oriented Filipino youth with an appreciation for science and technology is already becoming a reality. The stories of this camp I now carry with me are proof of that. The community carries so much potential through its members. It is difficult to definitively provide a single direction for where ISIP will go. If you ask me, ISIP has the potential to be an incubator for student researches focused on building products or developing services. It depends on who you ask, but one thing is for sure. If we are going to convert any of this potential into concrete action, ISIP needs to be sustainable.

“What is your end game?”

“Sustainability.”

Integrating Science in the Philippines (ISIP) is an organization dedicated to creating opportunities and experiences in science, technology, and communication that will ignite curiosity, cultivate learning, and inspire service in the Filipino youth.

For more information you may visit us our Youtube Channel – www.youtube.com/ISIPna or our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/ISIPna.






Thursday, June 16, 2016

Integrating Science in the Philippines (ISIP) organizes Discovery Science Camp 2016

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, June 16, 2016

This 2016, the annual Discovery Science Camp brought to you by Integrating Science in the Philippines (ISIP) returned to Philippine Science High School Main Campus for a week of science activities and workshops for this year’s campers. The Discovery Science Camp is designed to provide high school students with an avenue to explore science and technology beyond the classroom and develop an appreciation for it and its applications.

On-site camp preparations began on May 31 and the camp officially ended on June 5, with a post-camp field trip organized the day after on June 6. ISIP partnered with Philippine Science High School Main Campus (Pisay) for this camp and generously agreed to help sponsor accommodations, food, and logistical needs. The camp was organized by a core team led by Robin Racela, the 2016 camp director. Aside from the core team, volunteers aided in the success of the camp. The volunteers came from different backgrounds – some were last year’s campers, some were last year’s volunteers, some were Pisay alumni, some were Pisay students, some came from other schools like St. Paul’s College Pasig and universities like UP.

The campers began arriving on June 1, and the activities officially began on June 2. The campers came from all over the Philippines – from Samar, Catanduanes, and even as far as General Santos City – from both public and private schools, and from grades 7 – 10. The campers grouped together to design projects to solve problems they identified from their own experiences and the experiences of their fellow campers. They were guided by a step by step process for this project until their project presentation on June 4, where a panel of Pisay teachers and a panel of Filipino scientists, including Dr. Reinabelle Reyes and Dr. Mahar Lagmay, gave them feedback.

Aside from their project pitch, they participated in an Agham-azing race designed to immerse them in the scientific method, listened to a science communication talk to help them with their presentations, and got their hands messy in DIY workshops. All these activities aimed to develop their appreciation for science and technology. They also developed camaraderie with their fellow campers through team building, night activities, and board games. Their camp experience was topped off with a closing ceremony with talks from Filipino USAID scholars and a night under the stars, literally.

Even though the camp ended the next day, and the campers and organizers had to say their goodbyes, some of them remained for the field trip the next day. Those who remained toured the National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) and Marine Science Institute (MSI) in UP, visiting labs and talking to researchers about their work. The tours concluded a week’s worth of activities organized by ISIP.

ISIP looks forward to organizing Discovery Science Camp 2017, and extends its heartfelt gratitude to all the partners, sponsors, and individuals who helped make Discovery Science Camp 2016 a success! For more information on the camp, visit the Discovery Science Camp facebook page      

ww.facebook.com/ISIPScienceCamp2016. Until next time campers!

Integrating Science in the Philippines (ISIP) is an organization dedicated to creating opportunities and experiences in science, technology, and communication that will ignite curiosity, cultivate learning, and inspire service in the Filipino youth.

For more information you may visit us our Youtube Channel – www.youtube.com/ISIPna or our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/ISIPna.






Victorias City to Rise as a Cyber City

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, June 16, 2016


Playtech Industries, a 10 billion dollar conglomerate that supplies online gaming software solutions is set to arrive on July this year to pledge and commit investments to Victorias City that includes developments in the ICT sector and a cyber school.

This was disclosed by Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca after taking his oath of office before Silay City Judge Eunice Tan Cuansing and witnessed by Israeli Ambassador Effuie Ben Mityayau.

Playtech, an Israeli conglomerate is one of the key players in the world with regards to online gaming solutions. Victorias City is envisioned to be a cyber city in partnership with the Israeli government.

More developments with regards to ICT are in the pipeline such as hardware and software development, incubation and e-games, computer design, applications and website development. Victorias City is also into negotiations with the Israeli government to send Victorias workers to Israel and have other foreign companies set up their businesses in Victorias City.

That is why Victorias City will align its development plans with regards to the potential of foreign firms being based in the city.

“Through this growing partnership with the Israeli government, these initiatives are positioned to boost the economy of Victorias and the whole province as well,” Palanca said.

The employment created for the citizens of Victorias will also work in tandem in generating scholarships for students of the city. This will assure sustainable development in the future said the Israeli ambassador.

Also, a 40-megawatt solar power farm will soon rise in Victorias, Mayor Palanca said.






Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Proposal for Startup Mentorship Programs in Cebu

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Startups do not only need Venture Capitalists. In fact, the initial step aside from having a “Great Idea” is Mentorship. A Startup is not only operations. It will need Administration, Finance, Personnel, Marketing etc. The reason why many startups fail is because these factors are neglected or simply does not exist.

A mentorship program is being planned by both government and private institutions to assist startups in gaining the needed market traction and to make them attractive to potential investors.

Maria Elena Arbon, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Cebu provincial director, said the program will also cater to existing business owners to help them understand how they can use technology in their respective enterprises.

The Philippine Software Industry Association is planning “Launchpad” which is a mentorship program for startups.

“In the end, we will link the two, and this will be the solution to (the problem of financing for tech start-ups),” Arbon said.

Slingshot, which is a program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) was attended by more than 350. It aims to accelerate the development of startups via public dialogues and partnership.

PSIA with TechTalks.ph is cooperating in bringing Launchpad to Cebu. It will be a three month mentorship program for startup founders that will be a one-on-one mentorship program utilizing consultations and virtual sessions using Skype.

A group within PSIA called Spring.ph has been operating for a year that helps startups in Cebu. Applications for the mentorship program for its Cebu component will start in July this year and will be available to only 10 startups. The program launches in September this year.

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) is very much interested with the program since having listened to a presentation by centure capitalist Diosdado “Dado” Banatao.


“Dado encouraged us to know the market and take advantage of technology that will allow us to innovate and discover solutions to help solve the problems of the present,”  said CCCI President Melanie Ng.

A group of local (Cebu) investors is planned to be created so as startups can have access to funds.

“What we need are a reliable group of scientists and technologists,”  Banatao said.

“We need to have enough experts deliver. That’s when the money will come in,” he said.

Source: Readings from http://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/95646/mentorship-program-for-start-ups-eyed




Tuesday, June 14, 2016

New "Fulcrum" for the Dept. of Science and Technology

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, June 14, 2016


More on Research and Development (R&D) will be the thrust of incoming Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena.

This is unlike the strategy taken by outgoing Secretary Mario Montejo who focused on entrepreneurial applications of science and technology as well as ambitious initiatives such as Diwata 1 micro-satellite and the breakthrough weather forcasting Project NOAH.

“My top priorities will be on R&D to address pressing concerns on health, agriculture and the process industries,” Dela Pena, a former undersecretary for S&T services of the DOST, disclosed.

Programs that will focus on the development of the regions and policies sustainable growth will be the priorities of the DOST.

The programs will include:

1.    DOST services in the regions that will benefit the underprivileged sectors
2.    DOST Scholars who will serve the country and the utilization of their services
3.    Increase in the utilization of facilities, research outputs and human resource expertise that will push for growth and development.

R&D will benefit from investors in technology-intensive businesses.

“There will be many investors in this area if the economic climate is good, if the industry-academe-government linkages are strong and effective, and if we have enough human resources in advanced S&T areas who can be tapped by the industry,”  Dela Pena said.

Greater access to programs in scxience and technology will further enhance human resource development.

“There are many universities in the regions, especially the state universities and colleges (SUCs), which can be delivering institutions for S&T scholarship degree programs,” Dela Pena cited.

He continued, “A little more help from the government will help them improve their capacity, capability, quality and attractiveness so that more scholars will stay in their respective regions to study STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) program.”

STEM program, formerly called the Engineering and Science Education Program (ESEP), was piloted by the DOST in 1994. It is a science and mathematics-oriented curriculum being offered in specialized high schools and supervised by the Department of Education.

President-elect Duterte’s priority programs can be significantly helped by science and technology as per Dela Pena.
“He has repeatedly stated his emphasis on health, agriculture and food, education, and hastening the development in the regions,” Dela Pena said, adding that Duterte wants ordinary citizens to feel the services of the government.

”The DOST programs and projects will support his priorities,” he said. Montejo earlier lauded Duterte for picking an insider as the next head of DOST.

“I am happy that he’s from the ranks because there will be continuity. As a nation, we should develop technology self-reliance and it can be easily achieved if someone from the ranks will lead,” Montejo said.

The outgoing DOST chief reiterated the need to sustain existing efforts such as the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP), launched during the Arroyo administration and expanded by the Aquino government.

“We have many programs that should not be stopped. These are multi-billion peso programs, which are bearing fruits,” he added.

Aside from being a former DOST undersecretary, De La Pena also headed the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) as its president from 2002 to 2007.

From 2011 to present, he is the president of the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology (PhilAAST)






Monday, June 13, 2016

Slow Light?

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, June 13, 2016


The fact that the speed of light in a vacuum is a constant is one of the cornerstones of physics, but scientists from the Philippines were able to add a twist to this tenet.

By changing how some light beams rotate, the researchers from the National Institute of Physics were able to slow down light in a vacuum. The physicists used circularly symmetric light beams, known as Laguerre-Gauss beams, to change the way light twists around itself. Suddenly, the light beams were propagating more slowly.

The speed of light varies when it moves through different materials, and it does so at the expense of accuracy in transmitting information. For this reason, more and more people are interested in ways of manipulating the speed of light without affecting accuracy.

Last year, researchers from the University of Glasgow were able to slow down light using a "mask," turning plane waves (where the wavefronts are parallel to each other) into conical waves. In this latest research, published in Scientific Reports, the physicists also focused on non-plane waves, but they don’t change their shape.

The waves they looked at have an "orbital angular momentum," which could be visualized as a light beam following a tight corkscrew path. Each Laguerre-Gauss light beam carries its own angular momentum and the researchers were able to slow them down without directly interfering with them.

The fantastic result doesn’t violate any law of physics; individual photons are not suddenly moving more slowly, they are simply sent on a longer path, so the light beam arrives later. The physicists were even able to calculate exactly how much later they would arrive at the target before they did the experiment.

While the research seems very abstract, it has wide applications in computing technologies and telecommunications, where Laguerre-Gauss beams are commonly used. This might not be faster-than-light data transmission, but it might just help us in getting even better at sending information around the globe. 

Source: http://www.iflscience.com/physics/physicists-slow-down-light-vacuum-twisting-it/







Friday, June 10, 2016

New Passers of Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) to meet New Schoolyear 2016 - 2017

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, June 10, 2016

The Schoolyear 2016 -02017 will be met with by 30,938 teachers who passed LET. This was announced last May 19, 2016 by the Professional Regulation Commission and Board of Professional Teachers.

The LET passers for elementary teachers numbers 12,128 and 18810 secondary school teachers. This will augment the current number of teachers in both elementary and high school. The demand for more teachers is because of the additional 2 years in high school as per the K+12 Philippine School Program.

The K+12 Basic Education Program aims to level up the pre-university basic education program of the Philippines to world standards. Only Angola and Djibouti are left with the 10 year basic education program

The additional 2-years basic education will entail the need for additional high school teachers thus these new LET passers will be much needed.

Teachers in public schools need to pass the LET in order to gain permanent or regular status. Thus the LET is important in retaining teachers who are only allowed 1 year to teach if not yet a LET passer.

Of the total number of LET passers, it was disclosed that the 12,128 elementary teacher passers, 3,906 are first timers and 8,222 are repeaters. For the secondary teachers, 10,747 passers are first timers and 8,063 are repeaters.






Thursday, June 9, 2016

Filipino Weather Channel DOSTv Launched!

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, June 09, 2016

The Department of Science and Technology launched its television channel last May 30, 206. It is called DOSTv. This is a local version of “The Weather Channel” Featuring the latest weather updates and forcasts, it also includes Philippine “Centric” science and technology segments.

The initial airing is on the internet at http://www.dostv.ph. It can also be accessed at www.science.ph and www.dostv.ph/youtube.

The initial telecast will feature the first Filipino microsatellite DIWATA 1, its development and those who participated in its development history and the benefits the country will gain from it.

Updated news on the weather is crucial in the decisions made by national down to local leaders and the communities affected by weather changes and patterns. This is an important step in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management not only in preparation for typhoons and storms but also in in the crafting of plans and protocols in dealing with such events.

For more updates on DOSTv, please visit and like https://www.facebook.com/DOSTvPH or follow instagram.com/dostvph and www.twitter.com/DOSTvPH. #DOSTv  #DOSTvPH #dostPH #filipinoweather (S&T Media Service, DOST-STII)






Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Filipina Student Wins Award and Spearheads Malunggay based Anti-Tumor Research

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, June 07, 2016


Arianwen Rollan, a Filipina high school student won at the 2016 International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) and was awarded by Qatar Foundation.

Rollan, who hails from Cebu and attends the Cebu City National High School was cited for her research on the anti-tumor properties of malunggay (Molinga oleifera). The ISEF 2016 is a science fair for high school students and is organized by the Society for Science and the Public.

"Intel sees the potential in aspiring young people who have an unquenchable curiosity in the things around them. We are proud that this curiosity resulted in Arianwen's research being recognized in this year's ISEF among other projects from young innovators around the world,” said Calum Chisholm, Intel Philippines country manager.

"Intel congratulates this year's winners and hopes that their work will inspire other young innovators to apply their curiosity and ingenuity to today's global challenges," said Rosalind Hudnell, president of the Intel Foundation.

ISEF 2016 was participated in by 1,700 young scientists from around the world and Rollan is among 8 participants from the Philippines.

"We and Intel are optimistic that these aspiring scientists and engineers will be able to continue to pursue their passions, and we are dedicated to foster their creativity, curiosity, and ingenuity to contribute to the future," Chisholm said.

ISEF 2016 gets its funding from Intel and the Intel Foundation and for this year approximately US$4 million was awarded to its winning participants.







Thursday, June 2, 2016

Saltwater Battery Can Power Your Off Grid Home For 10 Years

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, June 02, 2016


Solar and wind energy is generated via solar panels and wind turbines. These are examples of renewable and clean energy. In the Philippines, there have been recent operations of new solar power plants and of course wind turbines in Ilocos and even Pililla, Rizal. These represents thrusts in obtaining power via clean and renewable energy.

A necessary component of these are batteries that store these energies. In the domestic end where there are homes that off the grid or are partially powered by solar energy, the power storage component is also a big part of the system.

We all know that batteries are subject to a definite lifespan and would be changed in a regular schedule. These conventional batteries also need regular replacement and must be environmentally friendly even when still in operation.

Clean energy should be stored in clean batteries. Aquion Energy's patented Aqueous Hybrid Ion technology is a unique saltwater battery chemistry made from abundant, non-toxic materials. These batteries contain no heavy metals or toxic chemicals and are non-flammable and non-explosive, making them the cleanest and safest batteries for your home or business.

Aquion Energy's saltwater batteries are the first and only in the world to be Cradle to Cradle Certified.

This new battery runs on saltwater and can power your home for nearly 10 years (3000 days/nights). The Aquion batteries  are safer for the environment, they are also non-flammable, non-hazardous, and non-explosive, unlike traditional lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries..







Another Triumph of Human Engineering: Gotthard Base Tunnel

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, June 02, 2016



Yesterday, June 1, 2016, the Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) was opened. Its commercial services will commence on December 2016. It is a railway tunnel that goes through and under the Alps in Switzerland. The GBT is the longest and deepest traffic tunnel in the world and the only flat low-level route through the Alps. The GBT’s length is 57.09 km and is composed of 151.84 km os tunnels, shafts and passages.

The GBT’s main purpose is to increase freight transport capacity across the Alps, particularly the Rotterdam-Basel-Genoa corrider that stretches from the Netherlands through Central Europe all the way to Italy. It is a bypass to the Gottharbahn that is a winds down the Alpine mountains and was opened in 1882. It is the third tunnel through the Alps after the Gotthard Tunnel and the Gotthard Road Tunnel.

Aside from easing the traffic on the earlier tunnels that are operating at full capacity, the GBT will decrease the travel time of goods that are mainly being transported using trucks. This will decrease the environmental impact of fossil fuel powered vehicles since freight will be transported by electric rail.

A referendum for the project was approved by the Swiss in 1992 and construction began in 1996. The tunnelling breakthrough was achieved in 2010. The project cost was US10.3 billion.

Sources:

•  •  "Commissioning". Lucerne, Switzerland: AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
•  •  "155 days until opening". Lucerne, Switzerland: AlpTransit Gotthard AG. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
•  •  "Project data – raw construction Gotthard Base Tunnel" (PDF). Lucerne, Switzerland: AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
•  •  "World's longest and deepest rail tunnel to open in Switzerland". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
•  •  "Gotthard- und CeneriBasistunnel: die neue Gotthard-Bahn nimmt Gestalt an" (PDF). Geomatik Schweiz. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
•  •  "Wer hat die grösste Röhre?" [Who has the longest tube?]. Tages-Anzeiger (graphical animation) (in German) (Zurich, Switzerland). 14 April 2016. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
•  •  Yücel Erdem, Tülin Solak, Underground Space Use. Analysis of the Past and Lessons for the Future, CRC Press, 2005 (p. 485)
•  •  Malins, Richard (December 2010). "Crossing the Alps". Modern Railways (London). pp. 79–81. ISSN 0026-8356.Subscription required
•  •  Monnat, Lucie (11 December 2014). "Le tunnel de base du Gothard révolutionnera le rail dans deux ans". 24 heures (Lausanne). Retrieved 2015-06-07.
•  •  "Chronology of a Project of the Century: Milestones in the Construction History up to 2010" (PDF). AlpTransit.ch. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
•  •  "Swiss create world's longest tunnel". BBC News. 15 October 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
•  "Gotthard Base Tunnel to be operational from 2016". Lucerne, Switzerland: AlpTransit Gotthard AG. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.






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