Research Fair 2021: Rediscovering Youth Aspirations through Scientific Ventures

Research Fair, the country’s first online research fair for high school students, concluded last January 30, 2021. Hosted by the University of the Philippines Academic League of Chemical Engineering Students, this was the 20th iteration of the event and the first to be held exclusively through the use of online platforms. Students from 38 schools attended the three-day event, which was open to high school students across the Philippines. 


The event consisted of three competitions. The Research Competition showcased innovative research projects from students and was subdivided into three categories based on the content of the research: applied science, life science, and physical science. Fifty-five research projects were submitted, though only the top two entries in each category advanced to the final defense round. The National Science Conquest tested the participants’ mathematical and scientific knowledge. After taking tests on multiple scientific disciplines, top participants competed in the championship in a quiz-bee type final round.

RF2021 NSC Champion

In the Case Study Competition, students’ interdisciplinary critical thinking ability was tested as teams proposed detailed solutions to the problem of coral degradation in the Philippines.

In addition to these events, the Youth Science Convention comprised a series of talks and workshops on a variety of topics, such as online communication, financial literacy, and the state of research in the Philippines.

RF2021 YSC CSC Champion

Teams from the Philippine Science High School — Central Luzon Campus won the applied science and physical science categories while a team from the Philippine Science High School — Southern Mindanao Campus emerged victorious in the life science category. The topics of these research entries ranged from the monitoring of mosquitos to the usage of nanoparticles as non-viral gene vectors. Teams from the Negros Occidental High School and the Philippine Science High School — Main Campus won awards for audience support and poster design, respectively. The National Science Conquest was won by students of MGC New Life Christian Academy, and the Case Study Competition was won by a team from Bacolod City National High School. Champions and runners-up of the competitions won cash prizes of up to Php 3000.

RF2021 RF RC Team

The theme of this year’s Research fair was “SPITZER: Rediscovering Youth Aspirations through Scientific Ventures.” Named after NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, the event aimed to provide an avenue for high school students to showcase their research abilities despite the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to inspire these individuals to pursue research in the future.