By FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD
MANILA, Philippines — The medal haul of the Philippines in the most prestigious mathematics and science competitions in the world continued as four high school students bagged gold, silver and bronze medals in the recently-concluded 5th International Earth Science Olympiad, the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DoST-SEI) disclosed Thursday.
Bringing honor and pride for the Philippines from Modena, Italy where the competition was held were gold medalist Williard Joshua Jose of Philippine Science High School (PSHS) Main Campus, silver medalists Christoper Jan Landicho of PSHS Bicol Region Campus and Charles Kevin Tiu of St Jude Catholic School in Manila and bronze medalist John Allan Olesco of Aquinas University Science High School. Jose earlier won a silver medal in last year’s IESO held in Nigeria.
The winning team was mentored by Prof. Miguel Cano of Bicol University and Dr. Marietta de Leon with PSHS Main Campus Director Dr. Helen Caintic acting as an observer.
IESO, held September 5-14, 2011, is the premiere international earth science competition for secondary school students, 17 years old and below. It was the first time that the competition was held in Europe and in Italy. The Philippines hosted the IESO in Bicol in 2008.
The competition covers areas such as astronomy, geology and geophysics, atmospherics and meteorology.
DoST-SEI Director Dr. Filma G. Brawner extended her congratulations to the team, urging them to venture into science careers.
“The IESO is a good starting point for students to look at the earth from a different point of view and explore it. There is still so much more to be discovered and we are hopeful that the IESO winners will take the lead in looking for new information about the world we live in,” Brawner said.
Brawner said contests, such as the IESO, is a good venue for students to be competitive and to excel in the fields they want to pursue.
“Competitions make pupils go beyond what they learn inside their classrooms. With time pressure incorporated in competitions, students are trained to work with grace under pressure. But, more importantly, exposure to international competitions should translate into entry into science careers,” she said.
Brawner said that beyond the medals, math and science competitions also raise public awareness on how science affects lives and moves the country forward.
“The IESO is intended to raise student interest in and public awareness of earth science, to enhance earth science learning of students, and to identify talented and gifted students in earth science,” she said.
Cano, meanwhile, expressed its gratitude to Philex Mining Corporation, Rapu Rapu Polymetallic Project, Geological Society of the Philippines, Hope Christian High School, Bureau of Mines and Geo-sciences, Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Vibal Publishing House; and APO Central Italy for making possible the trip of the team to the contest venue.