A team of high school students from Bulacan and their anti-botcha (anti-double dead pork) robot are set to conquer the global robotic arena as they represent the Philippines in the 2012 FIRST Lego League (FLL) in St. Louis, Missouri this April. 

Team DYCI Blue Ocean 10 from the Dr. Yanga’s College, Inc. (DYCI) in Bulacan will be fielding Meat’s Anti-Germs and Infection Solution Version 2 (MAGIS Version 2), a robot they created and designed using LEGO NXT controllers which can detect contaminated meat. 

Students comprising the team include Team Captain Gladys Leigh Malana, 16; Tricia Carmela Santos, 14; Ramikert del Prado, 15; Michelle Arcanar, 13; Kate dela Cruz, 13; Lady Alein Goleng, 15; Jules Martin Agsaoay, 15; Jonathan Alejandro, 15; Dave Adrian Bien, 13; and Tim Jhalmar Fabillon, 12. 

The team is coached by Beryl Jhan Cruz and Romyr Gimeno, their teachers from DYCI. They will be accompanied by Felta Multi-media Inc. President and CEO Mylene Abiva and DYCI Vice President for Academic Affairs and High School Department Principal Michael Yanga. 

MAGIS Version 2 is equipped with thermal and color sensors which can recognize if the meat is still good for consumption. 

The FIRST Lego League, where the Philippine contingent will be competing, is organized by the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), headed by American inventor Dean Kamen. This year’s theme, Food Factor, tackles on how to keep food safe for human consumption. 

In 2009, the Philippines won in the FIRST Robotics Competition Hawaii Regional Competition the Rookie of the Year and the Highest Rookie Seed Awards when it fielded Larry Labuyo, a robot created by the Philippine Science High School Team Lagablab (FRC Team 3105), to the game Lunacy. 

Science Education Institute Director Dr. Filma G. Brawner wished the Philippine contingent the best in their participation in the FLL and expressed hope that the experience will entice the students to venture into careers in science in the future. 

“We congratulate the DYCI Blue Ocean 10 for making it to the FLL and we are optimistic that you would bring honor to the Philippines as you join the international competition,” she said. “It is our hope that our students will be able to use this experience to get into careers in science in the future,” she said. 

Brawner noted that competitions provide a good venue for students to show their talents and excel in what they do. 

“Competitions become a test bed for our students where they try to outwit, outlast and outplay others through their skills and intellect in science and mathematics. We are positive that this experience will bring out the best from our students,” she said. (30)