San Quintin National High School from the Philippines emerged as the first-place winner in SEAMEO RECFON’s Youth Creation 2021 for their project on “Effectiveness of Powdered Taro Corms and Pulverized Eggshells as Substitute for Commercial Flour” to address the theme on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for Adolescent Nutrition.

The winning project bested 149 entries from 89 schools from 9 countries in Southeast Asia. The project is aimed at enhancing the nutrient contents of the common bread in the Philippines called ‘pandesal’ as well as putting food wastes into good use.  Pandesal is considered an affordable and common breakfast-to-go food among Filipino school children. The school team members are Annabel D. Ribleza, Bren Justin B. Doza, and Edward Neil B. Bartolome and their teacher is Daphne M. Magno.

The second-place winner was Sekolah Indonesia Kota Kinabalu from Malaysia for their project on “Establishment of a Green Integrated Model as Promotion Media for Biodiversity and Food and Nutrition Sustainability.”  The project highlights the broader educational functions of a school garden for learning about nature and the environment, agriculture and local food conservation, as well as health and nutrition.  The school team members are Azrina Aleeya Antasha,  Duwini Manditin and  Syarul Nisyam and their teacher is Susmin Ito, S.Pd.,Gr.

The project of Princess Chulabhorn Science High School from Thailand on “Gummies from Mangosteen Peel Extract to Inhibit Streptococus mutans Bacteria Which Causes Tooth Decay” was adjudged as the third-place winner. The product, which is sugar-free, hopes to reduce, if not eliminate, cases of gingivitis and tooth decay caused by Streptococus mutans in all age groups especially among school adolescents who frequently consume sugary foods daily.  The school team members are Pornchita Boonmawong and Mr.Sahaphon Phatklang and their teacher is Napassorn Laonet.

The honorable mention award went to Bali Mandara National Senior High School from Indonesia for their project on Digital Website for Adolescent Obesity Prevention.  The members of the team are Kadek Karina Dewi, Wayan Deasi Sastra Astiti and Putu Cindy Febiyanti with I Wayan Madiya as their teacher.The grand final panel of judges were Dr. Juandanilsyah (Student Coordinator of the Directorate of High Schools, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology of Indonesia), Mdame Amalina binti Haji Sidik (SEAMEO RECFON Governing Board Member from Brunei Darussalam), Dr. dr. Aria Kekalih (Southeast Asia School-based Nutrition Promotion Working Group Coordinator), Dr. dr. Drupadi HS Dillon (SEAMEO RECFON Advisor), Mr. Sorakom Keawsamerta (Professional Chef and STEM Advocate from Thailand), and Dr. Fendy Susanto (Head of Marketing Food Division of PT. Amerta Indah Otsuka).

SEAMEO RECFON’s Youth Creation Competition is a bi-annual competition that started in 2017 geared at harnessing the creativity and raise the awareness of school children and adolescents on what they can contribute to advocate nutrition education among their age group.  This year’s competition was aimed to encourage school adolescents to address nutritional problems confronting their generation by producing either food products, IT-based technologies or community-based processes using the STEM approach.

The awarding ceremonies were held virtually on 20 September 2021 as part of SEAMEO RECFON’s 11th Governing Board Meeting.  The winning schools received their certificates of recognition from SEAMEO Secretariat Director, Dr. Ethel Agnes P. Valenzuela and SEAMEO RECFON Director Prof. Muchtaruddin Mansyur.  Cash prizes were also awarded to the winners.

The other projects and the proponent schools that made it as finalists include the following:

  1. Project Scancare (mobile phone-based food Scanning Application) by Mahapruttaram Girls’ School from Thailand
  2. Potato Bag for Reducing Salinity in Food Project by Assumption Thonburi College (High School Department) from Thailand
  3. Application of the Diverse Use of Arthrospira platensis (SPIRULINA) on Selected Edible Eating and Drinking Utentils and Staple Foods in Addresing Adolescent Malnutrition in Southeast Asia Project by De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (High School Department) from the Philippines
  4. Utilization of Natural Fiber to Produce High Stabilized Stirred Yogurt Project by Heng Ee High School from Malaysia
  5. Healthy Boba from Durian Peel Starch by Pakkred Secondary School from Thailand
  6. Dek-Newtrition Project (Mobile phone-based application on determining food nutrient intakes) by Wichienmatu School from Thailand
  7. Rice Bran Noodles with the Addition of Moringa Leaf Extract Project by Kelisi 1 Senior High School from Indonesia
  8. Development of Digital Comic Media for Youth Nutrition Education by Raudhatul Jannah Senior High School from Indonesia
  9. Digital Website for Adolescent Obesity Prevention by Bali Mandara National Senior High School from Indonesia