MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Sustainability took center stage at the awarding ceremonies for Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow competition. Students from science high schools across the nation were recognized for their forward-thinking innovations, most of which dealt with concerns regarding waste management, energy efficiency, and environmental damage. The event was held last November 29, 2023, at Discovery Suites Manila, Pasig, with representatives from the Top 10 competing teams in attendance.
Solve for Tomorrow is a global competition that encourages young minds with a strong interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) to innovate novel, technology-based solutions that address problems that impact our future. Since debuting in the US in 2010, the competition has been adopted across the world, with 33 countries hosting their own editions. In September 2023, Samsung Philippines announced that it would be holding the very first Solve for Tomorrow competition in the Philippines.
“Although the program has experienced global success in other markets, this is the first time we’ve done this in the Philippines, and our leaders were nothing but excited to see young students in the Philippines benefit from this program,” said Samsung Electronics Philippines Head of Corporate Marketing Yna Quimson.
Over 200 teams, composed of science high school students from Grades 08 to 10, submitted their entries, hoping to inspire positive change in the world while securing Samsung devices for their schools. Grand Prize winners would take home PHP 650,000 worth of Samsung devices for their schools, PHP 190,000 worth of Samsung devices for themselves and their team advisors, PHP 100,000 in cash for themselves, and an additional PHP 20,000 for their advisors.
Most of the entries, according to Samsung, tackled issues connected to sustainability, proving it to be a chief concern among today’s young scientific minds. Some of the projects that made it to the finals included a compost processor for agricultural waste, and an oil and solid waste absorption system with integrated solar power capabilities. These innovations would not only contribute to sustainability efforts, but also enrich the lives of communities directly impacted by them.
“At Samsung, it is our long-held belief that our company thrives when our partners and community thrive,” said Samsung Electronics Philippines President Min Su Chu. “We are committed to empowering not only our employees, but also communities, now and for the future. Solve for Tomorrow is a testament to this commitment which manifests our global CSR vision of ‘Together for Tomorrow! Enabling People.’”
“It is our goal to always find opportunities to support providing education for future generations. And we want to empower future innovators to achieve their full potential. And today is one of those rare times when I can say I’m truly face to face with future innovators who want to be leaders who pioneer positive social changes,” he added.
In the end, it was the team of Enzo Miguel Abad, Ethan Bautista, Zion Mhar Kaezer Corpuz, and Resha Amora Gaspar (with advisor Engr. Bryle Eusebio) of Philippine Science High School – Cagayan Valley Campus who took home the grand prize. Their project, titled “Intellimeter — Smart Electric Management System with App Interface,” proposed an AI-powered energy management system that allowed users to regulate their electricity use through a mobile app. The innovation showed remarkable promise, giving everyday people the ability to take an active role in promoting energy efficiency and savings, managing energy deficits, and mitigating climate change.
With the announcement that Samsung Solve for Tomorrow would continue to be a yearly competition in the Philippines, the awarding ceremony became a rousing celebration of the creativity of the country’s most talented STEM students. Their innovations could someday be a major part of sustainable development across the globe, and competitions like Solve for Tomorrow can only serve to inspire them further.