Munti school tops int’l tilt promoting green energy
From being a finalist last year, Muntinlupa National High School (MNHS) topped an international research competition promoting renewable energy.
In awards rites held on Monday in Abu Dhabi, the public school received the 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize (ZSP) for its research proposal titled “RevAMP: Revitalized Algae Micro-farming,” besting hundreds of entries from around the world.
Competing in the East Asia Pacific bracket of the global high school category, MNHS was chosen over three other finalists — Fiordland College of New Zealand, Lowanna College of Australia, and Nabala Secondary School of Fiji.
Accepting the prize was the MNHS research team led by Ma. Regaele Olarte, with fellow teacher Jason Albaro and student researcher Maria Eliza May Faldas as members.
The prize comes with a $100,000 research grant from the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The ZSP was established in 2008 in honor of UAE founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan and his environmental advocacy.
Also part of the Philippine delegation were the country’s vice consul to the UAE Rowena Pangilinan-Daquipil, Muntinlupa schools division superintendent Mauro de Gulan, and MNHS principal Rante Marmeto.
Olarte earlier made headlines in the education sector by earning the 2017 Gintong Parangal Para Sa Edukasyon and landing among the 2016 Metrobank Outstanding Teachers.
The winning research aims to build a solar-powered microfarm for a more efficient cultivation of algae using photobioreactors. The algae produced can serve as feedstock to create algal biofuel as a more sustainable alternative to fossil fuel and biofuels such as corn and sugarcane.
The microfarm can be set up in a community center that can facilitate off-campus research and training programs where ordinary Muntinlupa residents can learn more about microalgae cultivation, according to its proponents.
“Our school has been doing lots of research into converting the algae into biofuel, as our country is in an energy crisis and this could provide a valuable power source,” Olarte said.
In 2017, MNHS emerged as a ZSP finalist with research proposal also on algae microfarming.