Cebu kid innovators turn ornamental grass into antibacterial agent

Wyeth Nutrition

Posted at Oct 13 2017 05:45 PM | Updated as of Oct 18 2017 05:53 PM

FROM L-R: Chairman of the Board of Judges (Kid Innovators category) and Dean of the UST College of Science Dr. John Donnie Ramos, DLSU Full Professor of Chemical Engineering Dr. Kathleen Aviso, Chemical Engineer and Science Education Specialist III at the UP NISMED Engr. Celia Balbin, WIN PH Head Nutritionist Mary Jude Icasiano, adviser Benito Baje, Kid Innovators Giancarlo Albeos, Vock Laurence Canlas, Nathan Josiah Elmido, WIN PH President and General Manager Eugene David, WIN PH Communications Head Anne Michelle Pador, and Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology President Engr. Filemon T. Berba Jr.

MANILA -- A team of students from the Philippine Science High School Central Visayas Campus took the top prize at the Search for the Wyeth Nutrition Kid Innovators held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila on Tuesday for coming up with a novel antibacterial solution using a local grass variety.

By Reinhart Sulaiman (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Team Pisay, composed of Vock Laurence Canlas, Nathan Josiah Elmido, and Giancarlo Albeos, wowed the panel of judges, composed of scientists from different fields of expertise, with their study "Antibacterial Screening of Arachis Pintoi Leaves Extract Against E. coli and S. aureus" that aims to promote a cheaper, more natural, and alternative antibacterial solution by using "mani-manian," a type of grass commonly seen in parks and home gardens.

E. coli and S. aureus are common types of bacteria that cause various internal and external infections.

This study, according to the team, is their response to the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act (R.A. 8423) and the Department of Science and Technology's "Tuklas Lunas" program, which aims to discover and utilize indigenous plants that have medicinal properties.

FROM L-R: Chairman of the Board of Judges (Kid Innovators category) and Dean of the UST College of Science Dr. John Donnie Ramos, DLSU Full Professor of Chemical Engineering Dr. Kathleen Aviso, Chemical Engineer and Science Education Specialist III at the UP NISMED Engr. Celia Balbin, WIN PH Head Nutritionist Mary Jude Icasiano, Kid Innovators Philmon Sedrick Wee, Zander Ellis Sy, Adrian Dar Serapio, adviser Peter Martin Gomez, WIN PH President and General Manager Eugene David, WIN PH Communications Head Anne Michelle Pador, and Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology President Engr. Filemon T. Berba Jr.

Team Pisay bested four other equally fascinating teams of kid innovations. A team from Xavier School in San Juan City developed an app that enables users to approximate their body fat percentage just by putting the phone near the navel area and activating its camera flash. They call it Mobifit, a handheld guide to fitness.

FROM L-R: Chairman of the Board of Judges (Kid Innovators category) and Dean of the University of UST Tomas College of Science Dr. John Donnie Ramos, DLSU Full Professor of Chemical Engineering Dr. Kathleen Aviso, Chemical Engineer and Science Education Specialist III at the UP NISMED Engr. Celia Balbin, WIN PH Head Nutritionist Mary Jude Icasiano, Kid Innovator John Ronan Reyes, adviser and parent Ronaldo Reyes, WIN PH President and General Manager Eugene David, WIN PH Communications Head Anne Michelle Pador, and Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology President Engr. Filemon T. Berba Jr.

A solo kid innovator from Tabaco National High School in Albay, meanwhile, utilized a local, edible fruit -- the tibig -- to absorb heavy metal particles, particularly copper, present in water. This study, according to the student, aims to eradicate water pollution brought by mining.

In his welcome remarks, Eugene David, Wyeth Nutrition president and general manager, emphasized the company's commitment to innovation, science, and kids.

Wyeth Nutrition Philippines President and General Manager Eugene David welcomes guests to the Grand Finals. He shares how the program helps Wyeth Nutrition bring its purpose to life of helping the next generation of children develop their full potential and live healthier lives.

"At Wyeth Nutrition, innovation is one of our passions. In fact, it's part of our culture, that innate desire to propel ourselves to do more, to do things differently, to surprise ourselves. Because, after all, it is this innate desire to do things better is what propelled mankind to where it is today," he said.

Now on its third year, Wyeth Nutrition added the "Upcoming Kid Innovators" category, which featured works of outstanding students from ages 5 to 8.

Matthew Ryan Chong bagged the first prize with his mosquito-trapping robot, while Keysha Vince Quirit of Baguio City bagged the second prize by utilizing pine needles as an alternative to commercially available mothballs.

The winners bagged generous cash prizes for them and their coaches. Their schools were also given science and technology showcases.

Wyeth Kid Innovators finalist 2017. Photo by Rhys Buccat

David has assured that Wyeth Nutrition will continue its vision to building a healthier, more promising, and innovative future for every Filipino kid.

"It is this passion for innovation that we believe, in Wyeth Nutrition, as key to make the the Philippines a prosperous country, and a promising one, even more to what it is today," he said.

Want your child to be the next kid innovator? Visit Wyeth Nutrition's website or follow their Facebook page for updates and more information.

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