Several Grade 12 students from Vinzons Pilot High School in Camarines Norte developed a project called “E-QUIA: Remotely Operated Electrostatic Collector of Polyethylene Teraphthalate (PET) Microplastics in Freshwater Environments,” a freshwater micro-plastic removal device that works through a radio-controlled device designed to collect micro-particle pollutants from freshwater environments through an operated electrostatic separation system.
Last July 26 – 29, the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), in partnership with Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI), awarded Vinzons Pilot High School with the Youth Innovation Prize Award for this project.
The proponents of the project, Lea Monina Pioquinto,19; Alliyah Cambronero, 18; Allen Misty Jalina, 17; and Reyneir Francis Espinola,18; were thrilled and overwhelmed when they learned that they won the contest.
According to Pioquinto, the team leader of the group, the most challenging part of the project was the fabrication and contacting engineers who can help them, especially since they are Grade 12 students who are graduating, and they have other challenges to overcome, such as college admission, tests, enrollment, and graduation.
However, they managed to overcome these challenges and did their best to create a device that would help solve the micro-plastic issue in the Philippines.
Pioquinto envisions a larger device that can be used by local government units and other companies that would find it useful.
She hopes that the device would be commercialized and implemented globally to solve the awareness regarding research and development in solving the micro-plastic issue.
She also advises everyone to follow their passion and do what they believe would help their community.
“Follow your passion talaga kase hindi namin ito magagawa kung hindi kami passionate about sa subject, kung hindi kami passionate about electronics and robotics and huwag lang kayo gumawa ng ganyan for the prize. Gawin nyo lang talaga kung ano yung gusto niyo and kung ano sa tingin niyo is makakatulong sa community,” Pioquinto said.
Each winning school-team received a trophy and a Php 200,000 cash prize sponsored by HCPI, while their winning coaches received Php 20,000 from DOST-SEI. The students intend to use the prize money to reimburse each member’s expenses and are currently deliberating their next steps. One of their priorities is to obtain a patent for their device. | Jeric Lopez
Photo courtesy: Imake.wemake Fb page, Jason Bargo, members of Team E-QUIA