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Speed Ask the Editor

These Filipino students have minor planets named after them

Three high school students from Naga City now share a name with three minor planets.

Camarines Sur National High Shool students Eugene Rivera, Joscel Kent Manzanero, and Keith Russel Cadores had recently won second place in the “Energy: Physical” category of the 2018 International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held on May 2018. Their prize: an asteroid or minor planet each named after them. A certificate indicating the minor planet and its orbital plot location that was given to Rivera was recentl posted on the National Science & Technology Fair Facebook Page.

 

Posted by National Science & Technology Fair on Saturday, April 6, 2019

 

Filipino ingenuity

The trio won for an entry that designed solar-tracking photovoltaic panels using electronics from Arduino.

 

In an abstract of the study published on societyforscience.org, the technology developed by these brilliant high schoolers aims to “improve the power harvesting and generating capacity of photovoltaic cells by designing and building a solar device that mimics a flower opening when the sun is out, tracks the sun’s movement, closes when the light source is no longer detected and responds to humidity and temperature to maximize power generation.”

 

They put together six photovoltaic panels mounted on a base operated by servo motors and controlled by Arduino module, humidity sensors, a broken umbrella and electric fan, and scrap acrylic sheets to build the device. This robotic design is said to amplify the capacity to harness solar power through a photovoltaic cell.

 

Rivera, Manzanero, and Cadores were only among three Philippine entries that took home awards from the competition.

 

Nabbing third place in the “Earth and Environmental Science” category were Elaine Nicole Saquin and Randy Molejona Jr. of Iloilo National High Shool (INSH). They succeeded for their research on Biosorption on Manganese Mine Effluents Using Crude Chitin from Shell Wastes of Bivalves.

 

Peter Ledesma also placed fourth in the “Materials Science” category for his research on Phytoreductive-Hydothermal Synthesis of Polyethylene Glycol-coated Magnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery Applications.

 

The ISEF is widely considered as the largest international pre-college science competition in the world, attended by almost 2,000 representatives throughout the world.

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