After demonstrating their mastery of the various Earth sciences, three Filipino students brought home bronze medals from the 12th International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO).

Ren Alexis Idanan and Jan Francois Severo, both from the Philippine Science High – Bicol Region Campus, and Audrey Keziah Mata from Legazpi City Science High School bagged bronze medals at the annual competition, which was held at the Mahidol University Kanchanaburi Campus in Thailand from August 8-17, 2018. Idanan also won First Place in International Team Field Investigation (ITFI) and Second Place in Earth Science Project (ESP), and Severo received the ESP Second Place Award. Meanwhile, another team member, Bill Gian Dealca from Sorsogon National High School, won First Place in ESP.

Aimed at secondary school students, the IESO seeks to promote and enhance Earth science learning. Participants test their skills by taking theoretical and practical examinations covering geology, geophysics, meteorology, oceanography, terrestrial astronomy and environmental sciences. This year’s IESO bore the theme “Earth Science for All.”

The IESO is the latest in a series of international science competitions where Philippine delegates received awards and recognition.

Nature and nurture

Idanan, Severo, Mata, and Dealca joined the team after undergoing an elimination assessment conducted in Manila, Legazpi and Cebu City. Bicol University’s Regional Center for Science and Mathematics Education Development (RCSMED) coordinated this concurrent assessment.

Two members of the Geological Society of the Philippines acted as the students’ mentors. Mr. Miguel Cano, a former full-time faculty member of Bicol University’s Department of Mining Engineering and a founding member of both the International Geoscience Education Organization (IGEO) and the IESO, served as the delegation’s Team Leader. Meanwhile, Dr. Marietta De Leon is a retired faculty member of the University of the Philippines Diliman.

From left: Mr. Miguel Cano, Bill Gian Dealca, Ren Alexis Idanan, Jan Francois Severo, Audrey Keziah Mata, and Dr. Marietta De Leon. (Photo: IESO Team)

The Philippine Delegation received invaluable support from the following: DOST-SEI director Dr. Josette Biyo; Philippine Science HS- Bicol Region Campus; Department of Education Region 5; UP NIGS, through director Dr. Mario Aurelio; Ms. Lea Bron; Mr. Jay Ocampo; CJ Landicho of Xavier School; Mirisbiris Garden and Nature Center in Sto. Domingo, Albay; Dr. and Mrs. Chris Newhall; BU RCSMED, through director Prof. Magnolia Vida A. Cano; BU Deparment of Mining Engineering chair Prof Ruby Alamares; Mines and Geosciences Bureau Legazpi (c/o Ms. Dayao); PAGASA Region 5; the local government in Albay; Philippine Airlines; Philippine Christian Gospel School in Cebu City; Ms. Dempta Baluda; Mr. Aubrey Whymark; Goodfound Cement Corporation; and Filminera Resources Corporation.

The 2019 IESO will take place in South Korea, where the first IESO was held in 2007. The Philippines hosted the 2nd IESO in 2008, with the theme “Cooperation in Addressing Climate Change.” 

Information taken from official press release and the 12th IESO website.

Author: Mikael Angelo Francisco

Bitten by the science writing bug, Mikael has years of writing and editorial experience under his belt. As the editor-in-chief of FlipScience, Mikael has sworn to help make science more fun and interesting for geeky readers and casual audiences alike.