THE Department of Science and Technology–Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) honored eight students from Valenzuela City School of Mathematics and Science (ValMaSci) and Dalandanan National High School with the 2020 Youth Excellence in Science (YES) Award on Oct. 16, 2020.
The award recognized the students’ outstanding performances in various international mathematics contests in 2019.
The annual YES Award is given to students who won gold, silver and bronze medals in international competitions in the fields of mathematics and science.
Headlining ValMaSci’s Golden Harvest in the 2020 YES Awardees was Vincent dela Cruz, the city’s lone representative to the Philippine team, which competed in the 61st International Mathematical Olympiad Online in September 2020. He received the YES Award for being a silver medalist in the 8th International Mathematics Assessment for Schools, bronze medalist in the International Mathematical Olympiad and honourable mention in the Asia Pacific Mathematics Olympiad, to name a few.
Also bagging the prestigious YES Awards from ValMaSci were Ralph Daniel Valdres (high distinction in the 2019 Australian Mathematics Competition), Gabriel Adrian Cruz and Eugene dela Cruz (silver medalists in the 15th International Mathematics Contest in Singapore), and Marin Catherine de Leon (silver medalist in the 2019 Asia International Mathematical Olympiad Open Contest and bronze medalist in the 2019 World Mathematical Games Open in Taipei, Taiwan).
The other awardees were Mary June Aubrey San Jose (silver medalist in the 2019 International Mathematics Wizard Challenge in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and Evitha Jovel E. Viola (bronze medalist in the 2019 International Mathematics Wizard Challenge).
Another Valenzuelano who made it to the list of YES Awardees was Julius Gabriel de Guzman from Dalandanan National High School. De Guzman won a bronze medal in the 2019 Thailand International Mathematical Olympiad.
Each awardee will receive the Secretary’s Medal from the DOST.
The honorees from ValMaSci and Dalandanan National High School joined 785 other achievers in Stem, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
They are from the National Capital Region, completing the roster of 1,631 YES Awardees for 2020.
DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo commended the batch of YES Awardees for setting a new national record in the international arena.
“In 2018, we had 1,454 (awardees). This goes to show that our momentum as an academically-competitive nation, as well as our continuing quest for excellence in the field of science and mathematics, is not slowing down,” Biyo said.
Biyo further said: “The trend is more than just an upsurge in numbers. What we are more interested in is the quality we draw from our students, as well as the values we teach them during training, during the actual competitions and after reaching the goal.”
The DOST official likewise underscored the role of science during a pandemic, saying that the “goal is to create a culture of science in the Philippines where people use science to create decisions and benefit from it.”
Since its establishment in 2003, ValMaSci has been living up to its name as the City’s premiere public science and mathematics high school. It has been reaping accolades both here and abroad and has been producing topnotch graduates now excelling in the many areas of research and Stem.
Same as with the other public elementary and high school institutions in the city, Valenzuela has been a very active advocate and a supporter of quality education. The City Government is investing in comprehensive and multi-faceted programs prioritizing the holistic development of the public education sector.
With the recent YES awarding, the City Government of Valenzuela has been seeing an increased interest in Stem as Mayor Rex Gatchalian hopes that this endeavour “will continually stir the interest of the Valenzuelano youth in math and science” with ValMaSci.
Biyo affirmed DOST-SEI’s support for youth excellence in the areas of Stem, saying “We hope that eventually, we can expand this brand of excellence across more young individuals who will serve as a foundation of this country in the future.”