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Baclaran Elementary School and Ernesto Rondon High School showed they’ve got enough science smarts to win over their counterparts in the first-ever ‘Smarter Kids, Smarter Scientists’ competition held last 24-25 July 2013 at the Manila Ocean Park (MOP). 

The ‘game show’ was part of the festivities lined-up during the recently concluded 2013 National Science and Technology Week of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). 

Organized by the Science Education Institute (SEI) in cooperation with MOP, Sharp Calculators, and Felta Multi-media, the activity aimed to excite, inspire and challenge students to be smart scientists thru a series of games that shall bring out the attributes of being Skillful, Meticulous, Alert, Rational, Tenacious, Enthusiastic, and Resourceful within them. 

The first day featured 10 elementary schools from the National Capital Region while nine High Schools clashed in the second day. All teams underwent seven challenges in the elimination round of which the top five teams advance in the finals together with guest scientist-players. 

Baclaran ES edged out C. P. Santa Teresa ES (1st runner-up), Centex Manila (2nd runner-up), Silahis ng Katarungan Special School, and Pamplona ES in the final round to emerge as the champions. They brought home a trophy, certificates, MOP tickets and a cash prize of Php 10,000. C. P. Santa Teresa ES and Centex Manila won Php 7,000 and Php 3,000 cash prizes, respectively, along with MOP tickets, trophies and certificates, Sharp calculators, and lego gift packs from Felta Multimedia.

On the other hand, Ernesto Rondon HS (1st prize) outperformed San Juan National HS, 2nd prize, and Ma. Clara HS, 3rd prize. Pateros HS, and Krus na Ligas HS won consolation prizes as finalists from MOP, Sharp Calculators, and Felta Multi-media. 

SEI officer-in-charge Elizabeth Fontanilla said the activity succeeded in providing an engaging yet learning-filled platform in making students interested in science and technology. 

“We are happy that the game made the students think in each of the challenges and they definitely enjoyed and learned a lot in terms of what attributes are needed to be smarter scientists,” said Fontanilla who then reminded the students of the available scholarships offered by SEI. 

DOST Undersecretary Fortunato de la Peña, likewise, applauded the students “level of competitiveness” and encouraged them to develop their skills further for them to be part of the science workforce in the future. 

“The most important thing, aside from developing the attributes of a smarter kid and scientist, is to have that deep sense of nationalism. Hence, I hope that after you become scientists and engineers in the near future, you choose not to leave the country and serve your people here,” said de la Peña. 

“We believe that you can be the fuel that will speed up our country’s drive to become globally competitive and independent through S&T. Of course, we need you to step on the gas and lead the way for that vision to happen,” disclosed said de la Peña. (30)