PH high school wins int’l sustainability prize in UAE

Besting hundreds of applications from all over the globe, Muntinlupa National High School (MNHS) in the Philippines emerged as the winner of the 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize in the Global High Schools category. The Zayed Sustainability Prize (ZSP) is one of the biggest international competitions that promote renewable energy solutions.

MNHS research teacher and 2016 Metrobank Outstanding Teachers of the Philippines awardee Ma. Regaele Olarte, along with other research proponents, received the award during the opening of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre last January 14.

Gracing the ceremony were His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

A research project from Muntinlupa National High School in the Philippines was adjudged as the winner of the 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize in the Global High Schools category. The delegation received the award during the opening of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week last January 14. Other finalists in the East Asia & Pacific bracket include Fiordland College in New Zealand, Nabala Secondary School in Fiji, and Lowanna College in Australia. Shown in the photo: (L-R) MNHS student-researcher Maria Eliza May Faldas, MNHS research advisers Ma. Regaele Olarte and Jason Albaro, Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Vice Consul Rowena Pangilinan-Daquipil, Muntinlupa Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Mauro de Gulan, and MNHS principal Dr. Rante Marmeto.

Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Vice Consul Rowena Pangilinan-Daquipil also attended the event and praised the research team from MNHS as the country’s pride.

Other members of the delegation team include Muntinlupa Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Mauro de Gulan, MNHS principal Dr. Rante Marmeto, research teacher Jason Albaro, and student-researcher Maria Eliza May Faldas.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi congratulates the research team from MNHS for bringing honor not only to the country but especially to Muntinlupa. The local exec hopes that they will serve as an inspiration for local students to also explore research work on renewable energy and sustainability and be able to contribute not only to the community but also to a global platform.

The RevAMP: Revitalized Algae Micro-farming research proposal from MNHS won in the Global High School category for East Asia & Pacific of the international prize. Other finalists in the bracket include Fiordland College in New Zealand, Nabala Secondary School in Fiji, and Lowanna College in Australia.

The project envisions a scalable local microfarm to produce high-value products from Green Algae (Chlorella vulgaris). MNHS proposes an efficient algae cultivation with photo-bioreactors for algae products that provide feedstock and are related to energy, water, food, and health.

The researchers intend to construct a Community Hub that will serve as an off campus research and training facility. The community center aims to cater research and product development of the project. It also serves as a training hub for livelihood.

The team received $100,000 research funding from the UAE government.

This is the second time of MNHS to be hailed as finalist in the prize. After being selected as a finalist last year, the initially proposed Comperehensive Algae Microfarm Project was gradually started and the concept was taken to a wider scope.

Established in 2008, the Zayed Future Energy Prize honors the environmental legacy of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE. In April 2018, the Prize adapted its focus with a view to affecting greater impact across multiple sustainability sectors. In order to reflect this evolution, it was renamed the Zayed Sustainability Prize.

Going beyond just energy solutions, the Prize has been aligned more closely with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the UAE national development agenda.

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