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Minor planets named after Pinoys

25 April 2019

Three minor planets now carry the names of three high school students from Naga City who had won a major award in an international competition last year.

The Department of Education (DepEd) said on its Facebook page that students Eugene Rivera, Joscel Kent Manzanero, and Keith Russel Cadores each received a certificate identifying their own minor planet and an orbital plot showing its location.

The three students from Camarines Sur National High School won second place in the “Energy: Physical” category in the 2018 International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in May last year.

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Their team won for their entry that designed and developed solar-tracking photovoltaic panels using open-source electronics platform Arduino.

They also took home $1,500 in addition to getting minor planets named after them.

The group’s entry was among the three from the Philippines that won awards in the 2018 Intel ISEF.

Placing third in the “Earth and Environmental Sciences” category were Elaine Nicole Saquin and Randy Molejona Jr. of Iloilo National High School (INSH), who won $1,000 for their research on Biosorption of Manganese Mine Effluents Using Crude Chitin from Shell Wastes of Philippine Bivalves.


Pete Gabriel Ledesma, also from INHS, took home $500 for placing fourth in the “Materials Science” category for his study on Phytoreductive-Hydrothermal Synthesis of Polyethylene Glycol-coated Magnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery Applications.

Four other students from the Philippines competed in last year’s ISEF, dubbed as the world’s largest international pre-college science competition attended by almost 2,000 delegates worldwide.

“Among the researches of 1,802 participants from 81 countries, the products of your long toil and tedious study stood out; the whole department extends its congratulations to Team Philippines for doing your country proud and for showing the world that the creativity and innovativeness of Filipino K-12 learners can beat the odds and conquer international competitors,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said following the competition.

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“This is what we have been saying: critical thinking, not memorization of facts, must continuously be developed by our learners if they are to face the challenges of the 21st century,” she added.

The DepEd said it is reviewing the six projects shortlisted for this year’s ISEF, which will be held in Phoenix, Arizona in May.

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