More than 100 Filipino students snag awards in Australian science competition

Two weeks ago, a Filipino student got a perfect score in an Australian math contest.

And now, 134 Filipino students have won awards in Australia's Big Science Competition, an international contest organized by Australian Science Innovations (ASI), a Canberra-based non-profit organization providing extension programs for students and teachers.

Eighteen of the 134 Filipino awardees received High Distinction awards, with 64 garnering Distinction awards, and 52 receiving Credit awards.

According to ASI, only about 5 percent of participants receive High Distinction awards, with 10 to 15 percent receiving Distinction nods and 25 to 30 percent receive Credit awards.

More than 37,000 students from 541 schools from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines and the United States took part in the competition.

Among the top 58 scorers of the competition is Grade 8 student Andrew Sy of Xavier School, who earlier this year also won a bronze medal at the Taiwan International Math Competition.

"We hope that students like Andrew continue to excel in science," said ASI chair Anne Semple.

Mathematics Trainers' Guild, Philippines (MTG) president Dr. Simon Chua said in a statement, "Andrew's achievement in the Big Science Competition only shows that he can thrive well even outside his comfort zone, which is mathematics."

The Big Science Competition was held on May 23 through a simultaneous one-hour multiple-choice test.

ASI's website said that the competition aims to "challenge students to think critically and solve scientific problems using everyday examples."

The test questions were based on the Australian curriculum for science, and are written by the Australian Council for Educational Research.

The Big Science Competition is open for students between seven to 12 years old, and is divided into three categories; Junior (7-8), Intermediate (9-10), and Senior (11-12).

The winners were notified via mail and phone call in September.

Of the 18 High Distinction awardees, six were from St. Jude Catholic School: Ava Celeste Lee, Vince Benedict Say, Adrian Reginald Sy, Marvin Kaiser Sy, Isabella Tan and Matthew-Ryan Tan.

Five were from St. Paul College, Pasig: Samantha Mari Agura, Nicole Regina Chiong, Rianna Patricia Cruz, Michelle Marie Ochoa and Natalia Varela - St. Paul College-Pasig.

Three were from Philippine Science High School: Allen Cedrick Domingo, Joan Lisebeth Mendoza and Lara Andrea Montales.

The following schools had one awardee each:

  • Xavier School (Andrew Sy),
  • Saint Stephen's High School (Nathaniel Joshua Balete),
  • Philippine Cultural College (Czarina Jill Mataragnon)
  • Zamboanga Chong Hua High School (Gene Go Jr.).

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