27 December 2020

The pandemic put face-to-face interactions to a halt, which means student competitions are practically ill-advised. However, given the effectiveness of competitions in building competencies among students, the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) banked on the online platform in pursuing its annual robotics and engineering projects—the Tagisang Robotics: Design. Build. Play. and imake.wemake: create. innovate. collaborate. Competitions.

The former, which is a varsity-type robotics competition, aims to sustain the development of robotics competence among junior and senior high school students. Last year, it returned from five-year hiatus to introduce a new basketball-based game presenting more complex challenges from the previous derby grounded on soccer and sepak takraw.

The imake.wemake competition, on the other hand, looks to continue to engage high schoolers in the innovation process, challenging them to create technology solutions on existing community problems.

The DOST-SEI, aside from administering scholarships in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), believes in youth competitions as effective means in developing STEM professionals.

“The pandemic affected out youth programs but we believe by trying out new things in our regular projects we can still make the same impact,” said DOST-SEI Director, Dr. Josette Biyo.

The competitions kicked-off its online technical trainings in November and December after months of developing modules and producing video sessions for students to access live and on-demand.

“Given the challenges in mobility, we’re still studying our options on how to go about the actual competitions. But as for the trainings, we made sure our participants remain engaged. In the early months of 2021, we shall have a better sight of how to conduct the contests,” added Biyo, who considers online demonstrations and presentations as an option.

For both competitions, DOST-SEI will still provide kits to participating teams containing key technological components that shall be used in developing the robots and the prototypes. The teams are given a few months to design and build their robots/prototypes.

“Further announcements for the Tagisang Robotics 2.0 and imake.wemake Competitions shall be made in the coming new year,” disclosed Biyo. (30)