MANILA, Philippines – To say Filipinos love basketball maybe an understatement—truth is, we are crazy about it albeit being ‘undersized’ for our own sake. But this year, a different type of hoops battle will defy not height but robotics might among young students.
This, as the Tagisang Robotics: Design, Build and Play Competition makes a comeback featuring a new game inspired by basketball, which will surely capture the creativity and team spirit of young Filipinos. The competition, which followed football in its previous runs from 2011-2014, will now see robots shooting sepak takraw balls in a trajectory towards their respective goals.
The robots were designed and built by high school students who will also maneuver their creations on the playing field during the tournament proper on November 19-20, 2019, at the Forum 2 of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
The varsity-type robotics competition, organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), is now on its fifth run. Dubbed as Tagisang Robotics 2.0, DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo explained why it took the Institute five years to bring back the competition after its last tournament in 2014.
“We needed to give way to other science promotion projects, but we’ve always planned on bringing it back as we’re aware of the increasing role of robotics in education, business, healthcare – in the Fourth Industrial Revolution in general,” Dr. Biyo said.
The DOST-SEI, aside from spearheading the DOST scholarships, implements science and mathematics teachers training and youth science promotion programs.
“The hiatus also gave us the opportunity to reconfigure the game to best match the interests and talents of our students,” Dr. Biyo added.
The competition started last September 2019 with a five-day Technical Training and Workshop and Game Reveal. Kits containing robot parts were distributed to the teams during the training. They were given two months to design and build robots that could withstand the challenges in the playing field and shoot the most number of balls to win.
Students from Rizal National Science High School measure resistances and voltages of circuits using multimeters included in their kit-of-parts as part of their training for the Tagisang Robotics Competition.
The sixteen (16) schools set to face off against one another are:
• Bangkal High School
• Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino High School
• Caloocan National Science and Technology High School
• Makati Science High School
• Malabon National High School
• Manila Science High School
• Marcelo H. del Pilar National High School
• Muntinlupa National High School – Main
• Pasig City Science High School
• Philippine Science High School Main Campus
• Pitogo High School
• Rizal High School
• Rizal National Science High School
• Sen. Renato “Compañero” Cayetano Memorial Science & Technology High School
• Taguig Science High School
• Valenzuela School of Math and Science
Each team is composed of four junior high school students and one teacher-coach. They will go through seven rounds of elimination matches to determine which teams will advance to the semi-finals and finals.
Winners of the Best Team Award will receive P100,000 cash prize, while winners of the Best Alliance Award will bring home P150,000. The winning team’s coach will receive P30,000. Winning alliance coaches will also get P15,000 each.
“We hope to spark students’ interest in in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and in information and communications technology (ICT) through Tagisang Robotics. We also look forward to having them apply as DOST scholars. But mostly, we’d like to make students see robotics as fun and engaging. It’s a good start in ensuring our country will have more robotics experts in the future,” Dr. Biyo said.