Next Lab, the technology-driven club of Xavier School (XS), mounted an interscholastic high school event, “HackXS,” an idea-pitching competition to help solve pressing social issues.
Held at Xavier’s multipurpose hall from April 1-2, “HackXS” was the first in a series of annual events focusing on technological and entrepreneurial education in the Philippines.
“HackXS” drew over 80 high school students from Metro Manila.
The first day featured talks by industry professionals: Allan Jay Dumanhug, cofounder of Secuna, a new security startup; Alexis Collado, founder of User Experience Society; and Deondre Ng, cofounder of Snack Studios, an indie game developer.
Two more talks were held on the second day—one by Jolly Estaris, industry manager for video at Google; and the closing keynote by Undersecretary Monchito Ibrahim of the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
Apart from the talks, the event encouraged the participants to immerse themselves in the spirit of “hackathon,” or pursuing an idea and creating tangible solutions to problems.
In over a period of 24 hours, the participants engaged in a competition to present unique solutions to real-life problems, specifically the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The event culminated in a series of pitches delivered by each team before a panel of judges composed of Goldy Yancha, associate director for business development and partnerships of IdeaSpace Foundation; Phil Smithson, experience strategist of the On-Off Group; Francis Plaza, a software engineer and economist; and Raine Robinson, assistant secretary of the Department of Transportation and an alumna of the Harvard Kennedy School.
After 17 pitching sessions, Team Kato emerged victorious, winning P10,000 in prize money. The team—composed of Martin Syling-Arriola (Xavier School Nuvali) and Juliana Avecilla, Martina Avecilla and Rafa Perez (Saint Pedro Poveda College)
—came up with a detailed design for Internet of Things, a weather-prediction program for rural farmers that utilizes biogas-powered light for data transmission.
Second place was Melissa Reyes, who presented a nuclear reactor design using molten salt and thorium.
In third place was the MGC New Life Christian Academy—
composed of Ralph Brennan Chua, Lance Adriel Ortega, Julianne Chrystel Ong—which built a low-cost generator using salt water as activator.
The rest of the teams, aside from Xavier, were Fr. Pierre Tritz Institute-Erda Tech, Immaculate Conception Academy, Miriam College, International School Manila, Ateneo de Manila High School, La Salle Green Hills, Claret School of Quezon City, Jubilee Christian Academy, UP Integrated School, Philippine Science High School Main Campus, Quezon City Science High School, Victory Christian International School.
Proceeds of the event went to the Xavier School Education and Trust Fund in support of Xavier’s Grant-in-Aid Scholars. —CONTRIBUTED