Geared toward the theme, “Tugon sa Panlipunang Hamon,” the first-ever Virtual Research Capstone Exposition held last June 14 was brought to success by the excellent collaboration of the faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) strand together with General Academic Strand (GAS) students.
Projects presented in the online exhibit addressed specific community concerns that are anchored in the United Nations’ sustainable development goals such as providing proper and accessible healthcare, creating clean water and energy, climate change action, and zero hunger.
The said Expo consisted of a three-part presentation with accord to the researchers’ respective career fields – Education, Technology and Innovation, Medical and Life, and Engineering and Mathematics field. Critics of the projects were Ms. Kimberly Aborot, Ms. Annie Colobong, and Ms. Shiela Caab.
INFORMATION IS POWER
One of the researchers in the Education, Technology and Innovation field was Mr. David Raphael Villar and his proposed project called Pandemic Live Hazard Radar (PALIHARA) to monitor COVID-19 hot zones and predict their potential spread.
It collects data of five major factors that contribute to infection to produce an accurate situational report of a certain area using a specific algorithm to calculate the spread of the infection. With 100,000,000 cases and 3,000,000 deaths all over the world and the number of vaccines being limited, this innovation could be of great assistance in monitoring and limiting the devastation the virus has caused.
THE WONDER PLANT
Ms. Maria Bernadette Dueñas, on the other hand, presented her study entitled Althernanthera Sessilis (Lupo): A Review of its Botanical, Phytochemical and Medicinal Uses for the Medical and LIfe field.
Lupo is a herbal plant yet many are not aware of it because many think of it as weed or grass. It can be seen in rice and sugarcane fields, roadside, or in damp places.
The purpose of this study is to know the identity, phytochemical compounds, and medicinal uses of Alternanthera Sessilis or commonly known as Lupo. The phytocompounds of its leaves are mainly tannins, alkaloids, steroids, flavonoids, and saponins which are responsible for the therapeutic and medicinal properties of the plant. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-cancer, and has wound-healing properties that can be used in treating headache, vomiting blood, vertigo, snake bites, eye diseases, malaria, wounds, sprains, burns, boils, acne, eczema and can also serve as a blood purifier. Treatment is prepared through the decoction of dried and powdered leaves with some salt or the fresh leaves can be used as plasters and applied externally on the skin.
This study raises awareness on the importance of cultivation and utilization of Lupo due to its great pharmacological potentials for medicine use. In this time of the pandemic, it is important to have a strong immune system to prevent our bodies from being sick.
SECURED VACCINES SAVE LIVES
For the Engineering and Mathematics field, Mr. Ceddie Tadlas schemed a Technical Proposal and Design for VacTech: A Cold Storage Facility for Vaccines in Puerto Princesa City.
Vaccine Wastage is a faded potential to save another person who is not protected against viruses and diseases like Measles, Polio, Rubella, Tetanus, and especially the recent COVID-19. The storage temperature requirement ensures the potency of vaccines and when it is not met, its potency lessens, thus needing to throw it away.
VacTech is a facility that focuses on the packaging, logistics, and artificial cooling system to guarantee proper management and handling of vaccines from their storage up to delivery. It is designed to be fit for the tropical climate in our country and holds 535,572 vials, 445,646 diluents, and 20 different types of vaccines. It also has its packing area to process the vaccines in and out of the storage facility, an electrical system with 5,000-10,000 watts in case of an electrical fluctuation which usually happens in our province, and a Temperature Monitoring System (TMS) which is provided to notify people in the facility.
It has an area of 150 square meters with 5 subunits namely Vaccine Storage, Packing Area, Packing Material Storage for syringes and other materials, Loading Bay for transportation, and Storekeeper’s Facility for maintenance. With this facility, it is expected that wasted vaccines will be lessened in our province and save more people’s lives.
All these innovations acknowledge the needs of the communities especially those who belong to the underprivileged sector. It could bridge the gap between disparities in our society. Despite the pandemic, researchers were able to produce a substantial paper independently which reflects their deep understanding of their projects and learnings.