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13 January 2016

SEI-UPLB inks partnership. SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo and UPLB Chancellor Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. lead the signing ceremony held at DOST in Taguig City, Wednesday, 13 January 2016, before members of the Working Committees. UPLB Graduate School Dean, Dr. Jose Camacho (leftmost), and SEI’s S&T Manpower, Education, Research and Promotions Chief, Ruby Cristobal (rightmost), served as witnesses in the signing. 

The Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) and the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to jointly organize the hosting of the 5th Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Plus Three Junior Science Odyssey (APTJSO) in June this year.

SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo and UPLB Chancellor Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. lead the signing ceremony held at DOST in Taguig City, Wednesday, 13 January 2016, before members of the Working Committees. UPLB Graduate School Dean, Dr. Jose Camacho, served as witness in the signing.

The event is now set on 12-18 June 2016 at UPLB and carries the theme, “Climate Change and the Rainforest.”

Dr. Sanchez said the hosting was a “no brainer” for UPLB as it seeks to strengthen its partnership with DOST and showcase the facilities and environment of the campus, known as the heart of the Los Baños Science Community.

“We immediately said yes to this partnership because science and technology, and mathematics education are mutual obligations and advocacy of UPLB and DOST,” said Sanchez. “UPLB is ready and in the coming months leading to June, we will prepare even more for this international endeavor.”

The ASEAN Plus Three Junior Science Odyssey (APT JSO) is an annual competition since 2012 to develop gifted and talented students aged between 13 to 15 years in science and technology fields and to nurture future scientists and engineers. It is participated in by the ASEAN member states, and China, Chinese Taipei, South Korea, and Sweden.

The event is primarily composed of a poster exhibition, a laboratory skills competition, field exposures and project pitching. The host country has the task of finalizing the specifics of each activity, including the theme, topic, rules and mechanics. SEI and UPLB together with other units of DOST compose the Technical and Working Committees.

In its four-year participation, the Philippines remains an undefeated champion in the Laboratory Skills Competition, a feat that could as well add some pressure to this year’s national contingent, according to Biyo.

“Our teams, ever since, have come from different campuses of the Philippine Science High School System and we remain confident that we have the capability to perform well and win,” said Biyo.

The hosting will be the Philippines’ share in nurturing gifted students in the sciences from the ASEAN region as well as from other countries. The ASEAN+3 Center for the Gifted in Science (ACGS), based in the Republic of Korea, is the overall organizer of competition, in cooperation with the ASEAN-member countries, China and Japan. (30)