Heartfelt Pride from Southeast Asian Students Captures at STEM Fair and Expo 2023


10 March 2023 ─ At the closing ceremony of “STEM Fair and Expo 2023” thirty Southeast Asian teams were awarded a 300 USD prize ─ along with the prize an overwhelming pride from students was captured through the lens of policymakers.

STEM Fair and Expo 2023 was a collaborative event among the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for STEM Education (SEAMEO STEM-ED), Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, Ltd., and the Ministry of Education (MOE). The event took place on 10 March 2023 with 400 participants from government agencies, policymakers, educators, and students.

Dividing into three main sessions, the STEM Project Showcase was a byproduct of the STEM Project Competition with over 300 projects from Southeast Asian teams submitted, and 30 winners were carefully selected to present their innovations at STEM Fair and Expo 2023.

The STEM Project Showcase covered three areas for students to tackle with STEM-incorporated knowledge and create new viable innovations. The topics included challenges in everyday life, challenges in different industries, and challenges in the community & school.

Meanwhile, SEAMEO STEM-ED as one of the organizers has selected some projects as examples to highlight different views in each category.

Everyday Challenge for Indonesia Warns by the Youth

In this category, SMAN 1 Giri School, Indonesia is an example since the students situated themselves at the forefront of minimizing damages for all. The team conducted their project on the “Flood Detector Early Warning System,” which underlined the severity of flooding in Banyuwangi, East Java, Indonesia. This particular recurrence issue has impacted over 1400 households and as a consequence up to 50 centimeters of water level was recorded in 2022.

SMAN 1 Giri School students responded to this natural disaster with determination in minimizing its impact. Cleverly developed an Arduino (an open-source electronics platform or board designed to make electronics more accessible to individuals) based ultrasonic sensor and a buzzer ─ they were able to provide information when the water surface reaches a warning level ─ for individuals to evacuate much earlier.

The team comprised of the project advisor, Mohammad Alex Firdaus, and students, Rahmadi Tri Firmansyah and Hardan Wahyu Mairendra Pangetsu.

The Philippines Attempt to Solve Food Crisis

Food shortage is one of the most vital issues the world is encountering today ─ and the most denomination for insecurity in underdeveloped and developing countries. Basud National High School, Philippines students perceived this issue to be fundamental in agriculture-based nations and attempted to be a force for their country’s economic boost with the “Solar-Powered Smart Arduino-Based Aquaponics System” project.

Basud National High School students, in this project, focused on improving agricultural production and providing food for individuals. Coming up with innovative ideas for individuals to implement in their residences, the team crafted a cost-effective design which is a compilation of solar-powered SMART Arduino systems (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium or NPK level detector, potential of Hydrogen or pH level detector, humidity, temperature and water detectors, and Global System for Mobile communication or GSM messaging device).

In detail, this device utilizes solar energy to power the system reducing the cost of energy consumption and making it more environmentally friendly. An Arduino-based control system also provides automated monitoring of the system ─ making it easier to track and adjust parameters ─ such as water temperature, enabling better control of the system and improving overall system efficiency.

As an example project in the industry challenge category, the system portrayed immense potential in both scalable and adaptable metrics for different climates. Members of this team included James Cedrick F. Zamudio, James Alfred Z. Flores, Lloyd Archie S. Acero, and James Carlo T. Ilan, and advised by Isagani F. Musa.

University of Yangon Disinfects Water Contamination

Inya Lake is the largest lake in Yangon, Myanmar, and distributes water to Kandawgyi (the main source of water supply for the community) in many areas of Yangon. The University of Yangon students (from the Department of Zoology,) observed the water supply and found much of the content is contaminated ─ together with interviewing nearby residents ─ they found that water usage revolves around almost all aspects of individuals’ lives (drinking, showering, and preparing food).

In this regard, a quest for disinfecting water contamination ensues, and “Observation on disinfection method for water contamination” emerged as a solution to the issue. Their project involved various three methods such as filtration, chlorination, and Ultraviolet (UV) radiation observation ─ to disinfect the contaminated water with better efficiency.

Upon testing and applying the three scientific methods to contaminated water, almost all harmful bacteria and viruses are eliminated. For the details, the team utilized chlorine which continues to protect the water from recontamination as well.  As a result of their implementation, they have illustrated the simplicity in cost-efficiency, and availability which can be made anywhere.

The University of Yangon team members were Khin Waddy Zaw, Thazin Han, and Cho Cho Mar, advised by Aye Chan Thu and Mya Phyo Nandar.

Chevron Awards Thai School with Special Prize in Bio-Circular Green Economy for Sustainable Resources

Major contributor and partner of the STEM Fair and Expo 2023, Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production (Thailand), Ltd., vowed to empower energy through people, or in short, they emphasized on “human energy.” Yearning to witness a world where sustainability and sufficiency plunge themselves at the heart of human lives, Chevron Thailand granted a special award to Rattanaburi School in relation to Bio-Circular-Green Economic Model (BCG).

The “Solving Soil Salinity Problems by Using Natural Soil Conditioners” project by Rattanaburi School students harnessed the mission to sustain the local resource in Surin Province, Thailand. The team utilized natural microorganisms which are mixtures of natural wastes (such as egg yolks, banana peels, and cherrystone clams) ─ to reduce soil salinity.

Demonstrating how accessible resources evoke great results, the team members under the guidance of Surattaya Saephoo and Kraisorn Kongyuen included Pitchayaporn Promkaew, Phongsakorn Saenkham, Pongsaphak Sroemrat, and Darunee Aduthum.

As a result of Southeast Asian students’ hard work, SEAMEO STEM-ED Centre Director, Dr. Kritsachai Somsaman; President of Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, Ltd., Chatit Huayhongtong and Deputy Minister of MOE H.E. Dr. Khunying Kalaya Sophonpanich witnessed beautiful moments when different teams were awarded the prizes ─ as the youth needless to say anything for their pride and achievements.


*In this post, images during the awarding ceremony are attached for our audience to cherish with the students.

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