Passion and Resilience: Driving forces of Filipino youth toward a triumphant STEM career

Posted in News
August 2, 2022

More than the recognition, the opportunity to interact with and learn from fellow young and brilliant student researchers has been the highlight of Shaira Gozun’s participation in local and international science fairs.

As an introvert, it was quite challenging for me at first,” recalled Gozun of her experience. “But thankfully and fascinatingly, when you are there, it might just come out naturally to talk to others, especially since you already have one common interest – Science.

Gozun, alongside her teammates E’van Relle Tongol and Neil David Cayanan, came up with “Hibla,” a sound-absorption material made from locally available fibers: abaca, bamboo, and water hyacinth. After winning in the National Science and Technology Fair (NSTF) that same year, the trio flew to Phoenix, Arizona to represent the country in the 2019 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) where their project bagged an honorable mention.

The most unforgettable moment was when we were preparing for our presentation the day before the judging day. We were reminded of how we started, how we have greatly improved along the way, and how we were making an impact on the scientific community, the country, and at that time, the world.

Gozun, who’s now taking up BS Biology at the Angeles University Foundation, encouraged fellow student researchers to use their skills not only for themselves but for the country as well.

If you want to pursue [a career in] STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), that already means that you have your own motivation in doing so,” said Gozun. “Hold on to that motivation and let it grow further.”

She added, “Even though we might not be as equipped as other countries, we have one of the biggest hearts of passion and resilience, which, I think, should be the driving force in making us become bigger and better than we already are.

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