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MHSS students present study at international science fair

Monday, March 11, 2013

(From left) Malayan High School of Science delegates Jasmine N. Faigones, Ernest Nicolo G. Lola, and Emmanuel M. Solis at the first Philippine International Science Fair in Antipolo City.

Three representatives from Malayan High School of Science (MHSS) presented their research study to a panel of experts and student participants during the first Philippine International Science Fair held at First Pacific Leadership Academy in Antipolo City from February 3 to 6.

MHSS carefully selected the team of third-year students Ernest Nicolo G. Lola, Jasmine N. Faigones, and Emmanuel M. Solis to participate in the event filled with team building activities, study critiques, and panel presentations.

“We didn’t really expect for our study to be chosen because we had to compete with the best and brightest students in our school,” said Lola.

Their research titled “A Comparative Study on the Effects of Oral Feeding of Tomato and Carrot Extract on the Lungs of Mice Exposed to Cigarette Smoke” tested if some of the common Filipino cooking ingredients could help negate or mitigate the effects of tobacco to an average mouse.

Based on the results of three experimental set-ups, the group’s study indicated that tomatoes have a higher tendency of protecting the lungs from cigarette smoke due to its lycopene content. This was proven after the mice’s lungs from the two set-ups were seen with very minimal lesions as compared to those fed with carrots whose conditions worsened.

“The purpose of our research is to determine if a tomato or carrot can actually protect the lungs from further deteriorating when [they] are exposed to cigarette [smoke] over a long period of time. This may even help people with a mild lung disorder,” explained Lola.

The first Philippine International Science Fair was organized by the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) System. In line with its theme of “Building a Culture of Science,” the fair aimed to nurture excellence in the field of science and technology among students.

Participating schools included Caloocan, Makati, Pasig, Pasay, and Quezon City Science High Schools, De La Salle University Integrated School, all 11 institutions under the PSHS, Raffles Institute in Singapore, Hwa Chong Institution of Singapore, Korea Science Academy of KAIST, Mahidol Wittayanusom School of Thailand, and Kaohsiung Municipal Kaohsiung Senior High School of Taiwan, among others.

“The fair provided an avenue for our young researchers to be more critical as they consulted experts in [the] field. They also learned the value of reaching out into the communities, which will mostly benefit from their research,” explained Daphane Clair B. Olivar, MHSS’s biology teacher.

Emerging as one of the top-performing science high schools in Metro Manila, MHSS intensifies its curriculum by promoting a culture of research among the community through scientific experimentation.

“Research is really one of our flagship programs. This subject puts us above other high schools in the country, so it’s an area that we must really strengthen,” said principal Dr. Efren B. Mateo. “We do offer a two-year research curriculum at MHSS so our students can learn how to present their topics with confidence and conduct the actual experimentation properly.”

Momentum will now shift to MHSS next year, as it was recently announced by MHSS president Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea that the school will be co-hosting the second Philippine International Science Fair.