NEU senior HS students win top prize in DOST-ACER Philippines science competition

The team of New Era University senior high school students win the top Youth Innovation Prize in the “IMake, WeMake” science and technology competition of the Department of Science and Technology and Acer Academy Philippines. (Photo courtesy Acer Academy Philippines Facebook page/


(Eagle News) — New Era University made it to the top three winners of this year’s “IMake, WeMake: Create, Innovate, Collaborate” project of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in collaboration with ACER Philippines.

Three senior high school students from Grades 11 and 12 from NEU competed along with representatives from 16 other schools in the competition that challenges young Filipinos to use their creativity.

With their submitted prototype for the “Automated Irrigation System Electroculture Powered by Acer Cloud Professor Using Arduino Uno,” the team of NEU senior high school students bagged the Youth Innovation Prize Award on Tuesday, December 4, during the awarding ceremony held at the Crimson Hotel in Filinvest City, Manila.

Two other schools also bagged the same award. They are the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) Cubao campus for their “Project Anitun Tabu: A Weather Advisory”, and the Philippine Science High School Eastern Visayas Campus for the Agro: Smart Automated Aquaponic System.”

This was, however, the first time for NEU to participate in such a contest.

The NEU senior high school students were guided by the NEU Technology Center, Integrated School, and the University Research Center, in collaboration with coaches from the NEU College of Engineering and Architecture, and the College of Agriculture.

The team of New Era University senior high school students win the top Youth Innovation Prize in the “IMake, WeMake” science and technology competition of the Department of Science and Technology and Acer Academy Philippines. (Photo courtesy NEU Technology Center executive director Audrey Lyle Diego)

The prototype for the automated irrigation system electroculture is designed to speed up the growth of plants with “proper irrigation and electricity,” explained NEU Technology Center executive director Audrey Lyle Diego.

– Improving agriculture through science-

During the awarding ceremony, Acer Philippines’ Managing Director, Mr. Manuel Wong, commended the students for their creativity, saying they can do a lot to improve the agriculture sector in the country.

“You, students, can help improve the farmers and agricultural sector’s life easier, but more importantly help them create more value to improve their lives. Be proactive, supporting the country by creating more and more valued resolution which can be applicable not only for us but can help the people and other country as well,“ Wong said.

DOST Science Education Institute Dr. Ruby Cristobal, Chief Science Research Specialist, speaking on behalf of Dr. Josette T. Biyo, DOST Science Education Institute Director, said that “innovation as a process of creating value is an important process” that will help Filipino kids to develop a “world changing mindset.”

“Through this program, we hope we inspired you to think in that way. I hope as you underwent all these phases of this program, you acquired important skills that you will use today and, in the future,” Cristobal said during the awarding ceremony on Tuesday.

-Three months of training and prototype development-

The students only underwent training using the ACER Cloudprocessor this September, and the development of the prototype only took about three months, according to NEU Technology Center executive director Diego.

ACER provided the computer devices such as the laptop and the cloud processor, the program and the starter kits, the Sensor Expansion Pack and the toolbox containing basic tools and components to all the participants from the 16 schools which passed the selection process for the competition.

To join, a team composed of three Grade 11 and/or Grade 12 students and one teacher per school may submit a project proposal addressing any of the following areas: food safety, security, traffic/road congestion, health, education, disaster mitigation, entrepreneurship, agriculture, and environment. This should be accompanied by a two to three minute video supporting the concept.

The projects were evaluated by this year’s judges: Dr. Nestor Michael Tiglao and Engr. Percival Magpantay of UP Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (EEEI); Engr. Carlos Matti Oppus of Ateneo de Manila University; and Alexis de Guzman of Acer Philippines, Inc., based on relevance and potential impact to the community of interest, novelty, viability, and community engagement.

The 2018 “IMake, WeMake” project of the DOST followed the successful opening salvo in 2017 which proved effective in encouraging young Filipinos nationwide to use their aptitude in science and technology in coming up with creative solutions in food safety, health, education, and security and disaster mitigation.

The three school teams which bagged the top Youth Innovation Prize awards will also each get a P50,000 cash prize.   (Eagle News Service)