University of the Philippines Los Baños
Thursday, 03 May 2018 16:07

UPRHS, UST dominate senior high research conference


The growth of mungbean alongside invasive shrubs; a laboratory procedure that diagnoses a disease in goats; electricity generated with the aid of human footsteps; and a study on self-esteem in senior high school (SHS) students.

These were the research topics that made the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and the UP Rural High School (UPRHS) the big winners in the 1st SHS Capstone Experience Conference on Apr. 28 at UPLB. The Conference featured more than 60 paper and poster presentations of Grade 12 students from ten SHS’s in the country.

UST’s “Allelopathic effect of Lantana camara and Chromolaena odorata leaf extracts on plant germination” was hailed as best paper in the life sciences sub-theme. The Dominican university also placed first in the agricultural sciences for the study “Optimization of loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay in identification of Fasciola hepatica in goat samples.” Leo Bert Orpilla, who presented the study on behalf of his six teammates, was named best oral presentor.

UPRHS, on the other hand, won in the engineering sciences, prototyping, and application sub-theme for the research entitled “Determining the feasibility of the application of piezoelectric generation in the UPRHS.” Angelo Manuel Castillo, who represented his team, was hailed best oral presentor. UPRHS also won the best paper in the social sciences and business studies for the research “Investigation of self-esteem in select SHS students in a laboratory school of a state university in CALABARZON.”

Mariella Aubrey Gancia of UPRHS and Janeuelle Peras of South Hill School, Inc. were named best oral presentors in life sciences and social sciences and business studies, respectively.

Meanwhile, Calamba City Senior High School aced the poster presentation category, with the research entitled “Adsorbents: Comparative analysis of water adsorption between aratiles’ roots (Muntingia calabura) and silica gel.” UPRHS won the two runner-up places in the poster category.

According to Prof. Liza Carascal, principal of UPRHS, the organizing school, the Capstone Experience provides a way for students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills that they gained in high school. “This exercise does not only validate your learning experiences, but also provides you the avenue to share your accomplishments with your peers, mentors, and other members of the community,” she said.

The Conference also featured plenary talks from three esteemed scientists, who encouraged the students to pursue careers in science and technology.

“Further your studies, hone your skills, get your degrees abroad, and come back to the Philippines and serve where you are needed most,” urged Dr. Evelyn Mae Mendoza, professor emeritus at UPLB and an Academician in the National Academy of Science and Technology.

“The amount of investment that we put in research is very important. In the end, our country wins when you put investment in education and science,” added Dr. Isagani Padolina, director of research and development, quality assurance, and business development of Pascual Pharma Corp./ADP Pharma Corp.

Dr. J.M.R. Apollo Arquiza, postdoctoral associate at Cornell University and member of the NASA Team on Space Food Studies, underscored the role of scientists and engineers in space exploration. “They (astronauts and cosmonauts) will not be able to get to the moon without engineers and scientists who designed the rockets,” he said.

Also present during the event were Dr. Portia Lapitan, vice chancellor for academic affairs, and Dr. Felino Lansigan, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Santa Rosa Science and Technology High School, Laguna College of Business and Arts, De La Salle Santiago Zobel School-Br. Rafael Donato Night High School, Christian School International, Queen of Peace High School of La Paz, and Nicolas Galvez Memorial National High School also participated in the conference. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)