The Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology and Philippine Science Centrum Launch Student Science Competitions

With support from the Science and Technology Committee, the Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology (PFST) conducted a two-day educational activity tagged as Assemble and Launch in celebration of World Space Week (04-10 October 2014).   As firm advocates for science and technology popularization and literacy, PFST chose to promote water rocket—a lesser known science project in Philippine schools but already very popular in other countries.
Ms. May Pagsinohin, PFST Executive Director, opened the two-day activity, while PFST Trustee Engr. Nicky Villasenor III delivered an inspirational message challenging students to excel in their chosen fields and recognizing the role of teachers in directing students towards excellence and good citizenship.

Mr. Allen Yu giving a lecture on Space Science 

Assemble and Launch was organized and coordinated by PFST staff, Ms. Cheryl Mulat and Mr. Luis Lesigues, Project Leader and Unit Head for Programs and Communications, respectively.  Mr. Allen Yu, an amateur astronomer of 15 years, conducted a lecture on “Space Science, Exploration and Advancement” to introduce the World Space Week celebration and water rocket workshop and competition.


The workshop was designed to be “edu-taining” (educational and entertaining) and hence, this centered on how to create/assemble a water rocket out of plastic bottles, PVC sheets, plastic folders and the like.  Philippine Science Centrum Research Head, Engineer Roland Moya, served as workshop resource person, explaining to students the science principles behind the assembly of parts and the flight of water rockets.  Grade schoolers were guided in assembling their rockets by employees of the PSC, namely, Mr. Rejean dela Cruz, Mr. Claro Resurreccion and Mr. Francis Ortega. Meanwhile high schoolers received guidance from Mr. Mario Reyes, Mr. Rolly Ariola and Ms. Desiree Del Rosario.

Student-participants during the...


test launch

Actual launch

The contest proper was held the following day, 11 October 2014 at the Marikina Riverbanks Amphitheater. Thirty-three (33) teams with 66 student-participants joined the competition:  10 teams under the Children category (10 to 12 years old);  and 23 teams under the Teenagers Category (13 to 16 years old).  Each team launched its  rockets twice.


The Board of Judges consisting of Mr. Luis Lesigues and Ms. Cheryl Mulat proclaimed the winners under the Children Category and the Teenagers Category.  Under the first category, the winners were Gerielle Cura and Jenny Balais of Dr. Celedonio Salvador Elementary School (Paco, Manila)-1st prize; Zyrah Jade Martesano and Tuesber Guevara, also of Dr. Celedonio Salvador Elementary School (Paco, Manila)-2nd prize; and Gabrielle John Abarquez and Xian Amiel Egneo of Timoteo Paez Elementary School (Pasig City)-3rd prize.  In the Teenagers Category, the winners were Gillbran Nathaniel Palasiqui and Emmanuel Santos of St. Joseph Catholic School (Quezon City)-1st place; Michael Stephen Magpantay and Harold Christopher Pura of Claret School (Quezon City)-2nd place; and Rachel Ladera and Mark James Macayan of Pinagbuhatan High School (Pasig City)-3rd place.

Children category

1st Place

Gerielle Cura & Jenny Balais

Dr. Celedonio Salvador Elem. School

2nd Place

Zyrah Jade Martesano & Tuesber Guevara

Dr. Celedonio Salvador Elem. School

3rd Place

Gabrielle Jophn Abarquez & Xian Amiel Egneo

Timoteo Paez Elem. School

Teenagers Category

1st Place

Gillbran Nathaniel Palasiqui & Emmanuel Santos

St. Joseph Catholic School

2nd Place

Michael Stephen Magpantay & Harold Christopher Pura

Claret School

3rd Place

Rachel Ladera & Mark James Macayan

Pinagbuhatan High School

Another PFST-PSC project was DISSECT, an interactive exhibit prototyping competition in which the student-contestants are required to design, create and build table-top ‘interactive science exhibit prototypes,’ using any scientific concept based on the theme “Peace and Harmony-Mother Earth and Man”.

Open to 4th year high school students both in private and public schools of the National Capital Region, DISSECT sought to 1) encourage and enable students to conceptualize and mount exciting and entertaining exhibit-prototypes for science center-museums;  2) provide occasion for students to ‘dissect’ scientific concepts learned in school for creating ‘table-top models;’ and 3) develop innate talents as well as discover and give recognition to future scientists, mathematicians, engineers, physicists, and technologists. 

DISSECT was formally launched on 11 November 2014 at the Philippine Science Centrum, with Engr. Filemon T. Berba, Jr., PFST President, welcoming the guests and participants to the launching.Messages were delivered by PFST Chairman and PH NatCom Commissioner Engr. Meneleo Carlos, Jr.and Dr. Virginia S. Carino of PH NatCom Science Committee.

Engr. Rolando Moya, PSC Research Head, gave an orientation to the students/ participating teams on PSC’s Interactive Exhibit Design and Fabrication Process.He explained the mechanics of the contest as well as the interactive exhibit development and prototyping process.


DISSECT’s Board of Judges was co-chaired by Engr. Nicky Villasenor III, PFST Trustee, and Dr. Virginia S. Carino, representing Philippines NatCom, and had for members, Mr. Ruby Cristobal representing DOST’s Science Education Institute; Ms. Evelyn Josue representing the UP National Institute for Science and Math Education; and Ms. Elvie Galvez, Engr. Rolando Moya and Mr. Rejean dela Cruz, all representing PSC.


Participating teams/schools were expected to submit their entries to PSC on 09 January 2015 and three winners will be selected to receive medals, cash prizes and plaques of appreciation.

DISSECT Board of Judges organizational meeting:(Left to Right) Mr. Ivan Roblas of SEI-DOST, Dr. Carino of UNESCO and BOJ Co-Chair, Ms. Elvira Galvez of PFST, Dr. Eve Josue of UP-NISMED, Engr. Nicky Villasenor of PFST and BOJ Co-Chair. Not in photo: Engr. Moya and Mr. dela Cruz conducting the workshop. Also in the meeting are PFST Exec. Director, May Pagsinohin, Mr. Freddie Blanco of UNESCO NatCom and Mr. Lesigues (red shirt).

In appreciation to UNESCO’s sponsorship of PFST’s DISSECT Competition, Engr. Carlos presented a token to Dr. Cariño. The token is a smaller version of PSC’s Plasma Sphere exhibit.