Shell's Bright Ideas Challenge provokes students to develop scientific solutions.
The students, led by team leader John Paolo Lumanlan, noticed the street in Diadi was always wet because of the water coming from the Lower Magat watershed.
This scenario sparked the inquisitive minds of the young students. They wondered if the indigenous people (IPs) in the area could tap the water coming from the watershed for other purposes aside from using the water for car wash and filling up radiators of passing motor vehicles.
Since the IPs are not covered by the power grid, Team Pisay thought of developing a source for their power need that is both free and has no carbon footprint,' Team Pisay CVC mentor and faculty member Jenshiam Balgua said in an interview with the BusinessMirror.
The team won a P100,000 prize package for their school they can use to pursue their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) program. In addition, the team also won P100,000, and a fully funded trip to attend the Make the Future festival in Singapore in March 2018.
The school team produced a miniature principle of hydroelectric-power generation for household application.
'Our idea can produce less than 5 kilowatts of electricity, which can charge a mobile phone and power house lights,' said Lumanlan, explaining their pico-hydroelectric generator.
Lumanlan said the generator uses a Kaplan propeller made from tin cans and fitted into a pipe T-joint. The T-joint can replace the elbow joints of house water pipes and the water pressure runs the device like a dynamo, with current flowing through an abutting electrical wire.
'Part of the winnings will be allotted to put improvements on the project,' Balgua said.
Balgua said Team Pisay CVC will still need to improve the motor's efficiency, material shell and tread seal. He added the team is also looking for better materials for the turbine, shaft and the mechanical seal.
'We are looking for a material that has the same strength of metal, but noncorrosive,' he said.
Designed to show how Stem can tackle real-world problems, TBIC invited high-school students from Grades 7 to 12, aged between 12 and 18 years old, to participate.
Out of the initial 26 teams, the 10 chosen finalists were student groups from Meridian Learning International Experience, Saint Theresa's College, CCF Life Academy, Dumaguete Science High School, Philippine Science High School Cagayan Valley, CEU Senior High School and Binan National High School.
Aside from showcasing the Filipino youths' ingenuity, TBIC also aims to spark students' curiosity in tackling real-world problems through energy efficiency and other innovative ways to make future cities vibrant and healthy.
'We hope to inspire a generation of innovative Filipino scientists, thinkers, mentors, city planners and decision-makers through The Bright Ideas Challenge,' said Ramon del Rosario, vice president for External and Government Relations of Shell Companies in the Philippines (SciP), during the opening of the students' exhibit at the Mind Museum in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
'We aim to propel future leaders to think big, use their problem solving, teamwork, and Stem skills to come up with solutions on how future cities might run in cleaner and healthier ways. We are also giving high-school students a platform to be seen and heard, and help deliver the school curriculum through an innovative, more engaging approach,' added Sankie Simbulan, Social Performance and Social Investment manager of SCiP.
Del Rosario said the ideas of this year's finalists contain elements of sustainability, energy efficiency, science, technology and engineering.
'The ideas here can be used in communities which don't have access to energy and water,' he noted.