Around 700 young achievers in science and mathematics gathered at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on February 14, for the annual Youth Excellence in Science (YES) Award.
The ceremony, organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), celebrated the momentous wins of elementary and high school students in international science and math competitions such as the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) and the Singapore International Mathematics Olympiad Challenge (SIMOC).
In her welcome remarks, DOST-SEI Director Josette Biyo thanked the awardees for reminding the world of the excellence and hard work of Filipinos.
“We hope you can be our scholars and be with the people as you reach your dreams,” she added.
DOST-SEI spearheads the country’s premier science scholarship program.
Biyo also lauded parents, teachers, school officials, and national organizers of science and math competitions who wholeheartedly supported the students.
YES awardee Emmanuel Osbert Cajayon of Emilio Aguinaldo College-Cavite expressed gratitude to DOST and shared his experiences and reflections in his student’s response speech. The IMO bronze medalist reminded his fellow awardees to focus on their passion for their chosen field and not just on achievements.
The YES Award is now on its 11th year, with each year showing a steady increase in the total number of awardees. From recognizing 70 student-medalists on its first year, 2018’s total number is 1,469 (from 332 schools) – the highest number recorded in YES history and a huge 23 percent increase from the previous year’s 1,195.
During the ceremony, 730 students from 120 schools in the National Capital Region were given the Secretary’s Medal which signifies DOST’s high regard for excellence and competitiveness.
DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña led the awarding with the help of top DOST officials Undersecretary Carol Yorobe, Dr. Josette Biyo, DOST-SEI Deputy Director Albert Mariño, and DOST-NCR Regional Director Jose Patalinjug III. Students from the other regions will receive their medals in special ceremonies conducted by DOST Regional Offices.
Dela Peña emphasized that the increasing trend is more than an upsurge in numbers. “What we are more interested in is the quality that we elicit among our students as well as the values we taught them during training, during the actual competitions, and after reaching the goal,” he added.