Last August 23, Joshua Lim, Nathan Gan, Brian Tan, and Ethan Chua of Xavier School’s Science Guild (XSG) displayed their scientific prowess and communication skills in Scicomm 2014, a national science competition held in the University of Asia and Pacific (UA&P). The two teams of Xavier School both managed to impress the panel of judges and were selected as part of the 8 teams to advance to the Scicomm 2014 Finals, which will be held on September 13. In this competition, Xavier School prides itself as being the only school that had two out of two teams advance to the finals.
Scicomm is a national competition held annually that tests students’understanding of current scientific news and their effectiveness in communicating what they have understood to an audience. What makes this even more challenging is the fact that the students have to do so in an entertaining manner that does not bombard the audience with intimidating scientific vocabulary.
During the elimination rounds, many of the region’s most prestigious high schools, such as Philippine Science High School, Miriam College, Grace Christian High School, and St. Jude Catholic School, participated in this highly competitive tournament. In teams of two, students were assigned to analyze and internalize different articles on the various fields of science. Afterwards, they were tasked to present the content of the articles effectively in front of a panel of judges and an audience comprised of students and teachers. The judges then selected and awarded the top 8 of the 37 competing teams.
Team Stallions is consisted of Joshua Lim of H4F and Nathan Gan of H4D, while Team Luceat Lux is consisted of Brian Tan of H4D and Ethan Chua of H3I. Along with the guidance of Physics teacher Ms. Lopez and English teacher Ms. Cruz, both teams were able to deliver strong and successful performances that were both informative and engaging at the same time.
Despite having been dubbed as four of the best speakers during the Elimination Rounds, the Xaverians had their fair share of struggles. “We decided to change our article two days before the competition, so time wasn’t really on our side. We met in school the day before the Elimination Round, so Josh and I literally had no script. We made do with what we had researched,” said Nathan Gan. According to Brian Tan, “Time was the biggest difficulty. Ethan and I basically had 4 days to work together; but with our focus and work ethic, we managed to pull through.” During the little time that they had, they made a lot of progress in simplifying their articles, structuring their presentations, and practicing their speeches. Through this experience, they exemplified the qualities of the ideal Xaverian: diligent, steadfast, and resilient.
Teamwork and cooperation played a big part in their success. According to Joshua Lim, “I think because Nathan and I have been friends long before we became teammates, we were able to quickly construct something collaboratively and efficiently without all the fuss. At the end of the day, I guess our presentation was a product of good chemistry.” Although they were competing against many of the brightest young minds in the Philippines, they were able to pull through due to their combined effort and synergy. “Ethan and I couldn’t have gotten to the finals without our chemistry in presenting and close work with our coaches. As a team, our lively, casual, yet thorough presentation made us both unique and successful,” said Brian Tan.
The Scicomm was not only an enriching experience for the students but also one that they wholeheartedly appreciated. Joshua Lim, the president of the Xavier Science Guild, stated, “SciComm is a marriage of two of my favorite things: science and communication. Being able to represent my school while doing something I enjoy just made it that much more fulfilling.” Having gone through one of the most competitive scientific competitions in the metro, Team Stallions and Team Luceat Lux definitely displayed their brilliance in the subject that they are all passionate about: science.
Let us all support these four Xaverians in the upcoming Scicomm 2014 Finals on September 13 as they take on two new articles: “Imparting the Unique Properties of DNA into Complex Material Architectures and Functions” and “Modern Plastic Solar Cells: Materials, Mechanisms and Modeling”.