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This year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its 6th assessment report showing the implications of climate change. Most of these are due to human activities hindering the call to action towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and their impacts on the most sensitive ecosystems are now irreversible. The most vulnerable are the ones hit the hardest due to the existing conditions that exposed them to hazards. Such vulnerable areas include the Philippines, a Southeast Asian archipelagic country located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, and the Pacific Typhoon Belt. 

In order to promote the SDGs to the students and as an active contribution of the school towards mitigating the impacts of climate change in the country, the Ateneo de Manila Junior High School Science Subject Area conducted its 7th annual research congress- now Research Fair last April 20-27, 2022 with the general theme: AMDGforSDG (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam for the Sustainable Development Goals) and a focus theme: “Down to Earth” – a call for the students to come up with innovative, but grounded solutions to solve problems on sustainability. 

Initially participated by the Grade 10 students only, this year’s Research Fair welcomed the happy addition of the works of the Grade 7, 8 and 9 students.

Each activity in the event was geared towards the attainment of the SDGs. Activities such as the Grade 7 Gallery on Sustainability Towards Food Security which gave the students a deeper understanding of the methods of science by tending to plants that are economically important and predominantly cultivated in the Philippines. 

“Because of Science AT4, aside from identifying which type of seeds would grow in certain conditions and knowing how different factors affect the germination of seeds, I was able to do something I really enjoyed. I have come to realize that I can nurture a plant and I’ve become addicted to taking care of it to the point of bringing it with me whenever we go on vacation. I have never planted anything before. I did not know that I could have this kind of relationship with a plant. Most of all, I learned that if you put your heart into something and you take care of it, it will grow and give you immeasurable happiness once it bears fruits.” – Master Sean, a Grade 7 student.

While the Grade 8 Research Project Broadcast showcased students’ creativity by taking on the roles of scientists, newscasters, and field reporters to bring positive news of the various research that aim to find solutions to the most pressing environmental issues and promote sustainability.

On the other hand, the Grade 9 and Grade 10 students exhibited their work through an inspiring Research Poster Exhibit and an exciting Research Project Congress which pushes our students to think critically and innovatively by creating their Research Papers, make sound and informed decisions through their Abstract Posters, and effectively communicate their studies through their Research Video Presentations. Eight research groups (from grade 9 and 10) were given recognition for their exceptional work. Each award was named after the Jesuit scientists. One of the awards, the Pope Francis Award for Best Research Project, was inspired by Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ Action Plan on Care for our Common Home.

These kinds of activities are not only engaging and fun, it is also a great way to raise awareness. This Research Fair sends a reminder to the students to willingly answer the call to save the planet. While every present moment is finite and concrete, every decision we make at that moment has ripple effects for the future.

Experience the Ateneo Junior High School Research Fair 2022 by visiting our official website at go.ateneo.edu/AMDGforSDG.