A research that extracted bioethanol from 'guyabano' leaves wins the annual research fair for senior high school students.
This year's fair, titled, "Integrand: Attaining Philippine Development through Trans/Interdisciplinary Research and STEM Pursuits" aims to showcase the outputs of students and to give merit to those who really put effort in doing their researches.
"I wanted students to have a glimpse of what a research competition is," says Mr. Zython Lachica, the lead research teacher of the senior high school students. "Research fairs allow you to see brilliant ideas; and personally everytime I see these ideas, there is a feeling of competition inside me to do well and to perform, not just for myself but for the benefit of society too."
The fair showcased 25 different researches in five (5) categories: business and management science, applied physical science, computational and mathematical studies, agricultural and biological science, and humanities and social science.
Each research set up a booth describing their research problem, hypothesis, and results. a pool of judges coming from the College of Science and Mathematics of UP Mindanao, industrial practitioners in marketing and insurance company, DOST, and Mindanao Times, screened their papers, interviewed the students and selected the best research from each category. These finalists then proceeded to a final defense with the judges where more detail in the research was clarified and deliberated.
The winning group composed of Siegfried Kayne Lim, Rebekah Samantha Enriquez, Alexandra Celine Lam, and Zoe Alexi Tan wanted to know if something could be salvaged from the leaves of the soursop or locally known as 'guyabano'.
"Pollution and global warming is becoming more rampant as time progresses, one of the contributors to this issue is our heavy reliance on fossil fuels which are non renewable resources. Hence our research was focused on discovering an alternative to fossil fuels. For our study, we chose the leaves of the soursop, locally known as 'guyabano'. This is because there is little to no research about it being used as an energy source," the group mentions.
"The goal of our research was to determine whether or not ethanol could be extracted from the leaves, this extraction was done by fermentation and distillation in the school laboratory. We had three setups with varying days of fermentation. In the end, the third setup, which was fermented for 11 days, had the most significant results. This is because its boiling point is lower than water, and its freezing point has no difference with ethanol. It should also be taken note of that the physical properties of the samples share similarities with ethanol, such as a strong pungent scent and a faster evaporation rate compared to water, this was observed because of the spillage on the laboratory tables we worked on. All in all, we believe that longer fermentation and a second distillation yields an ethanol sample that is more concentrated."
The research fair is an annual capston activity for senior high school students and marks an important conclusion in their pre-collegiate studies. "I hope they learn that research is more than just presenting their outputs in the fair. Research is a lifestyle, it is a commitment to humanity’s development. Research not just intellegence, it is about attitude, character, and willingness to learn. I want them to learn that even in research, honor comes first before excellence," Mr. Lachica remarks. "This is what makes this year's fair a true success and I am excited to see the creativity that the next batch of students have."
Senior High School is the additional two years of education instated by the Philippines' K to 12 education program. In these additional two years students are free to specialize in strands which may better prepare them for their future pursuits. Currently, DCHS offers all four (4) pre-college academic tracks accredited by DepEd. Students may choose from either STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math), ABM (Accountancy, Business, & Management), HUMSS (Humanities & Social Sciences), or GA (General Academic) to help equip themselves for their college degrees. Senior High is currently offered in the V. Mapa Campus.