Meet the kids of tomorrow

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Tri-Axis Accelerometer as Commercial Seismic Wave Sensor, Light Intensity Meter Operated Automatic Gas Tank Valve Lock: GT-VALOCK - have any clue as to what these are? These 14 to 18 year-olds do – they invented them.

How many of us believe (and can belt with conviction) that “the children are our future… teach them well and let them lead the way”? On its 100th year, child nutrition giant Wyeth has put this anthem to heart in launching the Search for the Wyeth Nutrition Kid Innovators. The nationwide competition was targeted at children’s innate curiosity and their learned love for science. Add to that a passion for innovation, and you’ve got the magic formula for inventions that can truly make a difference in the world.

Read: 8 Secrets on how to raise smart kids that you should know

In the words of Wyeth Nutrition President and General Manager, Mr. Joseph Eugene David, these are “the wonders of time that will improve the quality of life of succeeding generations” JUST. WOW. Read on to meet the kids of tomorrow and their game-changing innovation projects. Mga ‘batang may laban’ indeed.


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Jejomar Derecho, part of the team that invented the Tri-Axis Accelerometer as Commercial Seismic Wave Sensor, is recognized at the Wyeth Nutrition National Kids’ Innovation Day

Jejomar Derecho, 17

Recipient of the Silver Medal and Star Awardee- First Meritorious Award at Manila Science High School, Jejomar began his love affair with science and research at the age of 10. With a penchant for exploring how things work, he was able to convert a microphone into a speaker by simply but ingeniously plugging the mic chord into the speaker slot and fiddling with a few amplifier knobs. Jejomar is now a BS Applied Physics sophomore at UP Diliman, on the path to even furthering this and other projects.

Aliana Mae Arales, 17

At age 15, back then a student of Manila Science High School, Aliana and her group mates successfully created a working model of their Tri-Axis Accelerometer as Commercial Seismic Wave Sensor, an earthquake detector. This invention won GOLD at the 2014 International Youth Invention Exhibition Awards held in Taiwan. She is currently taking up BA Political Science at UP Diliman

Click next to meet our youngest innovator. Can you guess how old he is?

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Amin Hataman discusses his biodegradable plastic project with event host, Issa Litton

Ahmed “Amin” Ibn Djaliv Turabin Hataman, 14

The youngest of these amazing innovators definitely holds his own amongst his peers. 14-year-old Ahmed displayed interest in Science books at the astounding age of 2. That’s right, 2! His mother’s readiness to read him these books certainly paid off as he became a consistent academic excellence awardee and was an active school leader in elementary. Currently a high school student in the Fountain International School of Manila, he’s still part of the student government body and now even the school’s football team. His project with classmate Gokturk Karabulut, a “Feasibility Study on the Use of Nata de Coco for Biodegradable Plastic” sprung from his awareness of goings-on in his surroundings, where people were burying trash in plastic bags. He put together this eye-opening observation, the suggestion of their teacher to use nata de coco for its plastic-like properties, and the hope of one day opening economic opportunities for his hometown of Basilan, which has coconut as its primary industry, to come up with their project idea. Their invention bagged BRONZE at the 2015 International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering, and Environmental Project Olympiad in Houston (out of a whopping 462 entries) and GOLD in last year’s International Young Inventors Olympiad.


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Justine Silvestre and Adrian dela Cruz share how they came up with the Oxygen Plasma Surface Modification of Polylactic Acid-Cellulose Acetate-Chitosan Nanocomposite Fiber

Justine Silvestre, 16

He was 14 when he and his group mates at the Philippine Science High School – Central Luzon Campus came up with Oxygen Plasma Surface Modification of Polylactic Acid-Cellulose Acetate-Chitosan Nanocomposite Fiber (whew!) – a wound dressing with antibacterial properties allowing for faster healing. After TWO years of hard work, his team won Best Overseas Project in the Mahidol Wittayanusorn School Science Fair in Thailand last year. Justine is currently a freshman at UP Manila, an aspiring neurologist. Did we mention that he ranked 1st in the UPCAT among the Top 3 passers in B.S. Biology?

Adrian Dela Cruz, 16

Now a freshman at UP Diliman, Adrian dreamt of building towers and robots, just like many young boys. This love for science translated into science research projects, the most successful of which was the nano fibers and ‘its effect on hydrophilicity and anti-bacterial property against E. coli and S. aureus.’

 Click next to meet a team of innovators whose response to a tragedy in the metro equated to an award-winning project with the potential to save millions of Filipino lives

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Team GT-VALOCK shares how this everyday contraption could prevent major accidents in Filipino households

Mari Christine Amon, 18

A consistent honor student, a topnotcher in academic tests like the Elementary Level Competency Measure (ELCOM) and the Otis Lennon School Ability Teset (OLSAT) for elementary, and a competitor in the MTAP-Deped Math Challenge, this accomplished young woman discovered her passion for learning when she was just 6 years old. In designing the prototype for their Light Intensity Meter Operated Automatic Gas Tank Valve Lock: GT-VALOCK – she and her team brought home the GOLD award from the 2014 International Youth Invention Exhibition Awards held in Taiwan. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Electronic and Communications Engineering at DLSU Manila.

Jeanne Alexis Marasigan, 17

Definitely one for competition, Jeanne has joined and placed in several Science quiz bees and singing contests. Her group’s GOLD win at the 2014 International Youth Invention Exhibition Awards is certainly a highlight but not the last item in this multi-talented teen’s growing list of achievements. Showing the true spirit of an innovator, this winning project wasn’t actually their first concept. Their initial proposal of using coconut shell (coco nucifera) as fuel was limited by the inaccessibility of resources and technology to break down the shell into ethanol. After observing an increase in accidents caused by LPG leaks, their group designed a device that immediately shuts off the LPG tank when people leave their homes. Their concern for the millions of Filipino families neglecting this danger has turned into a viable lifesaving product that they are actually planning to patent.

Leira Mae Socito, 17

This multi-faceted teen benefited from the support of her parents as she explored different avenues of learning – from academics to sports to volunteer work. Her early achievements included being a consistent honor student and in the top 10 of their class at UE Manila. Currently a sophomore at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila taking up Finance and Treasury Management, Leira is also a touch rugby player of the university’s team and a volunteer of the Rotaract Club of Raja Sulayman, an organization that campaigns disaster preparedness and awareness.

Alexis Andrea Tamayo, 17

Displaying academic excellence overseas is nothing new to this young leader and achiever. She was a student delegate for South Korea during the Manila Science High School and Yeil High School Sister School Program. Inspiring greatness wherever she went, Alexis actually transferred to 3 different schools during elementary, and was an honor student in all of them. She is currently a sophomore taking up BS Nursing at UP Manila.

Whinley Hasset Uy, 17

As a curious child, she spent many hours watching her dad repair damaged units in their computer shop and tinkering with them too. Finishing elementary school at St. Paul Grade School Tondo, with flying colors, she was awarded 2nd Honorable Mention, Academic Excellence in all subjects, and the Girl Scouts of the Philippines Leadershp Medal. She is currently a student at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.


“It takes a whole community to harness a child’s greatness,” says Wyeth Nutrition Communications Head, Ms. Anne Michelle Pador. These young achievers are quick to recognize the roles their families, teachers, teammates, friends, and their shared hopes for the improvement of Filipino lives played in the development of their remarkable innovation projects. In launching its nationwide search, Wyeth Philippines sought “to unleash the power of their curiosity,” according to Ms. Pador. It certainly is a privilege for all of us, to witness these young innovators’ curiosities journey into greatness.

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