Thursday, August 7, 2008

Potential PAASE members

MANILA (PNA) - Two students from the Philippines obtained
international recognition recently after winning bronze medals in the
49th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) and 39th International
Physics Olympiad (IPhO).

Diogo Miguel S. Moitinho del Almeida of Ateneo de Manila University
(ADMU) bagged the bronze medal in the IMO which was held in Madrid,
Spain last July 10-22.

Jeffrey Kenneth L. Go and Mark Benedict C. Tan, both from Xavier
School, make up the entire Philippine contingent to the IMO.

Dr. Ian June L. Garces of ADMU and Dr. Julius M. Basilla served as
team leader and deputy team leaders, respectively, of the IMO team.

Garces said the IMO is the largest, the most prestigious and the most
difficult mathematics competition among the best secondary students
in the world.

He said for 2008, 535 contestants from 102 countries and territories
joined the competition.

Garces pointed out that getting a medal in the IMO was hard
especially with the type of questions that are given and the
percentage of students getting a medal.

"As an IMO rule, to get a medal, you must be at the top 50 percent
among all the contestants, and the numbers of bronze, silver, and
gold medallists must be in the ratio 3:2:1," he said.

On the other hand, Tobit James Narciso of the Philippine Science High
School (PSHS) won a bronze medal at the IPhO which was held at Hanoi,
Vietnam last July 20-29.

Under the training of Dr. Jose Perico Esguerra of the University of
the Philippines-National Institute of Physics (UP-NIP), Narciso
obtained one of the 78 bronze medals given to contestants. A total of
46 gold and 47 silver medals were given to the high school students.

A total of 376 students coming from 82 countries participated in the
IPhO.

The IMO and IPhO will be held next year in Germany and Mexico,
respectively.

The two students were conferred Youth Excellence in Science (YES)
medals by Department of Science and Technology Secretary Dr. Estrella
F. Alabastro. YES medals are awarded as recognition for students who
gain honor for the Philippines through winning in international
competitions.

Dr. Ester B. Ogena, Director of SEI, said the triumph of Narciso and
Moitinho de Almeida is a clear proof that Filipino students is at par
with students from other countries.

"Our students can make a name for the Philippines in the global
mathematics and physics arena. With government and the academe's
support, we are hopeful that we can increase the number of winners in
our roster," she said.

Ogena said the DOST-SEI shall continue to provide support to students
who want to compete in international competitions.

"We will be on a continuous look out for gifted students who can be
trained and exposed to local and international competitions to
further hone their skills," she said.

Ogena expressed hope that the victories the Philippines is getting
abroad in competitions would translate into more students pursuing
science and technology careers.

"The Philippines need our gifted students to pursue S&T careers and
bolster the development of the country to an innovation powerhouse,"
she said. (PNA)

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