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Bright ideas from young minds win big

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T he champions of Shell NXplorers: The Bright Ideas Challenge 2021 were Team Agriserve from the Philippine Science High School, Cagayan Valley Campus who invented Smart Agrihub, their multipurpose website and data server for assisting farmers, which earned them the grand prize in the contest.

The recently held NXplorers: The Bright Ideas Challenge 2021 picked the top five student teams who pitched the most innovative solutions to the country’s food, water, and energy issues, topping 301 other students from 14 high schools across the country. The grand prize winner, Team Agriserve from the Philippine Science High School, Cagayan Valley, devised an online platform that will help farmers connect with each other and their customers and enable them to increase their produce.

One runner-up also came from Cagayan Valley, while the remaining three were based in schools located in the National Capital Region, Mimaropa, and the Bicol region.

Shell NXplorers was launched in the country by energy company Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation to increase awareness for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) among young Filipino talents, and inspire them to come up with products that can improve the people’s essential needs that impact their daily lives. Since its inception in 2019, 39 schools, 1,238 students and 203 teachers have been trained by the Shell NXplorers program.

Lorelei Quiambao-Osial, the newly appointed country chairwoman of the Shell Companies in the Philippines, remarked on the students’ winning spirit: “Having seen the quality of our entries this year, it is clear that no pandemic can crush the creativity and ingenuity of our youth in coming up with solutions designed to ensure food, water and energy security.”

Pilipinas Shell vice president for Corporate Relations Serge Bernal acknowledged the “creativity and ingenuity that our participants have displayed in finding solutions for the Philippines’ food, water, and energy issues. We are pleased that we continue to draw the best of the best, and since 2019, we have cultivated bright minds through the Shell NXplorers program.”

Winning teams

Smart Agrihub was the project that won the championship for Team Agriserve from the Philippine Science High School, Cagayan Valley Campus. It is a multipurpose website and data server that can introduce farmers into the digital space where they can promote their produce, find customers, and link up with other agribusiness partners. In accepting the award, Team Agriserve thanked Shell for giving them the opportunity to pitch their idea, acknowledging that the innovation mindset of the youth brings a brighter future for the world.

First runner up, Team El Terratix from the Philippine Science High School Cagayan Valley Campus, won acclaim for their PagSOILbok project, a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly soil-testing machine. Their innovation can assess the quality of the soil in an area, which can then determine the health of any crops that will be grown in it. Team El Terratix believes that PagSOILbok can help those that need it, such as those in the agricultural sector.

Next came Team Shellamat from the Philippine Science High School Main Campus, who received attention for their Project Simoy, a
self-powered utility model that collects, extracts, and converts carbon dioxide from air. Team Shellamat explained in their pitch video that, in improving the quality of the air, Project Simoy also improves the health of the citizens while mitigating the effects of global warming.
The third runner-up, Team Danum of Bansud Regional Science High School, was chosen because of their wastewater treatment which can improve the traditional crop watering system. Team Danum extended their gratitude to Shell NXplorers for giving them the platform to show their creativity in the field of science.

Finally, the fourth runner-up, Team Aces, from Ateneo de Naga University, broke new ground with their AuREUS-Integrated ParaSolar Generator, a device that functions as both a parasol and a solar-powered electric generator. Team Aces described that during the competition their team gained a lot of knowledge and experience that will prove valuable to their future.

“This year is yet another testimony to the unlimited potential of each and every child,” enthused Shell Global STEM Education Theme Lead, Tariq Hussain. “Through Shell NXplorers, we hope the youth of today can reach new heights. It is our hope to keep pushing the boundaries so that these amazing minds can have more room to grow.”

Head judge Liezl Sueno, Senior Technology Transfer Officer at the Department of Science and Technology, expressed her hopes that programs like Shell NXplorers “will open opportunities for students to pursue their dreams and passions.”

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