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05 August 2015

       

The Team from Baclaran Elementary School II accompanied by scientist-coach Engr. Martha Dealino (second to left) bested Magat Salamat Elementary School (2nd place) and Amado V. Hernandez Elementary School (3rd place) to claim the top spot in the first-ever “Clash of Class: The Ultimate Battle of Science Smarts” held during the 2015 National Science and Technology Week. Also in the photo are Ruby Cristobal of DOST-SEI (leftmost), Desiree Gestiada (second to right) of Manila Ocean Park, and DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara (rightmost).

Science ‘geeks’ from Baclaran Elementary School II and Pasay City East High School edged their counterparts to be hailed champions in the first-ever “Clash of Class: The Ultimate Battle of Science Smarts” competition held last July 27 and 28 at the Laot Activity Center, Manila Ocean Park. 

Clash of Class, a play on the name of a popular mobile strategy game Clash of Clans, was conceptualized as a game show-type event that aimed to test students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through carefully designed fun games.

The two-day activity was organized by the Science Education Institute (SEI) and the Philippine Science High School System (PSHSS) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in partnership with the Manila Ocean Park as part of the weeklong celebration of this year’s National Science and Technology Week (NSTW). 

The activity featured five levels that focused on different careers students can get into, namely, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Integration, which is a merging of the aforementioned disciplines. The games were strategically designed with the help of module developers from the academic and research institutions as well as from teachers from PSHSS to enhance the skills, knowledge and creativity of the students on becoming smart scientist and engineers in the future.

A total of 18 schools—eight elementary and 10 high schools—from the national capital region battled for two division championships. Each team were joined by one DOST-SEI or PSHS scholar-scientist as their coach.

       

Student-players listen to their scientist-coach as they perform the Laser Maze challenge during the Clash of Class competition held at the Manila Ocean Park.

In the Elementary Division, Baclaran Elementary School II bested Magat Salamat Elementary School (2nd place) and Amado V. Hernandez Elementary School (3rd place) to claim the top spot and bring home a trophy and P15,000 cash prize. The latter schools also won trophies, and P10,000 and P5,000 cash prizes, respectively.

Meanwhile, Pasay City East High School dominated the High School Division to edge Upper Bicutan National High School (2nd place) and Moonwalk National High School (3rd place). Teams won trophies and cash prizes of P15,000, P10,000 and P5,000, respectively.

Aside from the prizes, all participants also got free access to the Manila Ocean Park exhibits and other attractions.

SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo said the activity simply aimed to “wow and excite” the students in STEM fields. 

“At such young age, we want to make you realize how important science and technology is in your lives and how wonderful it would be if you ultimately decide to be part of our family,” she said.

One of the teachers, Ramon Cipcon of Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School, said the activity was a great opportunity for the students to showcase their skills and talents of becoming scientists in a way. 

“This activity also opened exposure to us, teachers, to capture new ideas and strategies on how to deliver and teach real life science to our students,” he added.

Finally, DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, herself a science scholar of the agency from high school to graduate school, invited the students to become scholars in the future.

“Pagdating niyo sa bahay niyo, share niyo sa mga kaibigan niyo kung ano 'yung natutunan niyo dito at anyayahan niyo rin silang maging DOST Scholars sa hinaharap (Share the things you learned here to your friends and encourage them to become DOST Scholars in the future),” said the Undersecretary. (30)