Sharp Calculators launches the Search for the Ten Outstanding Young Mathematicians 2015 (TOYM)

Do you know anyone who is a math wizard? Then give them and their school a heads-up to join the recently lauched search for the Top Outstanding Young Mathematicians 2015 (TOYM).

In the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report for 2013-14, the Philippines was ranked 96th out of 142 countries in perceived quality of Math and Science education. While that is a considerable improvement from 115th in a similar report for 2011-12, it is no comfort to know we lag far behind Hongkong (10th), Taiwan (11th), Malaysia (27th), Japan (34th) and even Indonesia  (35th). Singapore, as usual, continues to top this list. We can, and should, do more to inspire more young people to excel in Math and the sciences.
My youngest son loved Math. In fact, for a few years, he participated in the Mathematics Trainers Guild (MTG) Philippines and Mathematics Teachers Association of the Philippines (MTAP) programs. On his second year in high school, the school shifted to Singapore Math. It was a huge leap…and a great one at that, on hindsight.

The importance of Math cannot be overemphasized. Beyond just being a subject that many consider challenging, Math is present in our daily lives. Wherever we turn, whatever we do, there is always an element of Math in life. But for the Philippines to be more competitive in this field, we need to provide an environment that nurtures smart minds and makes them strive for excellence in Math.

Sharp Calculators, through Collins International Trading Corporation, had launched a SHARP Minds program 6 years ago in partnership with MTG and MTAP, to uplift the standard of education, particularly in the teaching of Math subjects.

Mr. Lucero Ong, AVP-Collins International Trading Corp.

This year, Sharp Calculators goes one step further by partnering with several organizations to launch the search for the TOYM in the National Capital Region (NCR): Department of Education-NCR, Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), Mathematics Trainers’ Guild Philippines (MTG), Mathematical Society of the Philippines (MSP), and the Philippine Council of Mathematics Educators, Inc. (MathTEd).

What are the mechanics of the nomination?

1. High school students from public and private schools in NCR who have completed at least 2 years of high school can be nominated. They must be Filipino citizens, natural-born or naturalized.
2. The nominee must be among the Top 3 students in Math as certified by the school principal.
3. The award will be based primarily on the nominee’s performace in national and international competitions recognized by the Department of Education or Department of Science and Technology.
4. Presentations or publications of original work in mathematics are desirable.
5. Students who contribute to the promotion of Mathematics and show leadership skills are desirable. Good moral character will be considered.

What criteria will judges use?

The judging criteria is as follows:

What is the screening process?

The Deliberation/Final interview of finalists will be conducted by representatives from DepEd NCR, DOST-SEI, MTG Philippines, MSP and MathTEd.

The deadline for nominations will be on January 5, 2015 with awarding ceremonies scheduled on February 2015. Nomination period is November 3, 2014 to January 10, 2015. Nomination kits are now available at select National Book Store branches in NCR. You can also download these from
The people behind the search pose with emcee Atom Araullo

For me, this is the start of recognizing young math minds and inspire them to achieve even more. I hope that future search tilts will also include a search for underprivileged, but math smart, kids so they can also be recognized and given a chance at a better life. Imagine, we have poor Pinoys who can be somebody someday if given a unique chance, just like this kid I saw featured on TV Patrol and whose video I found on YouTube. Impressive!

Sharp (Phils.) Corp. stays 30 years in the Philippines through thick and thin

2011 marks 30 years of Sharp’s presence in the Philippines. Wow, have they really been here that long?

Come to think of it, Sharp has been a part of my growing up years. At some point of time in my life, we’ve had a Sharp television set, washing machine, and karaoke. Not to mention several Sharp calculators!

At a recent media event held at Makati Shangri-la, we were able to listen to several of Sharp’s Japanese executives, including Sharp (Phils.) Corp.’s President and GM, Mr. Juntaro Shimamoto, who took us through Sharp’s history in terms of electronic offerings as well as where they are going in the future.

Sharp products over the years

Sharp Phils. executives
Some stuff that I found very interesting during the event were Sharp’s ‘green’ endeavors built into their products. Their poly-crystalline silicon (PSC) solar panels are now in use at a Cepalco-operated farm in Cagayan, the first solar farm in the country. Appliances like their air purifiers, ion generators, airconditioners and refs are incorporated with Plasmacluster Ion Technology that suppresses harmful airborne elements to promote a clean, indoor environment. 
This I like because our family always has allergic rhinitis attacks from dust and pollen and our home always has to have air purifiers and ionizers to help catch these.
Plasmacluster technology

They’ll soon be introducing into the market the largest LCD TV (all 70 inches of it), the Quattron 735 series.

A sneak peek of the 70-inch LCD TV

And an innovation to the washing machine is what they call the Eco Drum (or hole-less technology). The old technology where the drum had holes was flawed. It allowed black mold in the holes to contaminate and stain clothes. The new, hole-less drum prevents this from happening and comes with a wider tub so you can wash more clothes in one cycle.

Drew Arellano talks about the hole-less drum
Sharp’s executives, throughout their presentations, kept mentioning “Koten”, their trademark marketing strategy. Koten, which means “individual exhibit” is a once a year convention where all Sharp’s products are introduced to the public in a fun and easy way, assisted by Sharp’s team. Families and individuals can walk around their exhibits and see the actual appliances, inspect them, and get further information from the staff. They said they have seen sales of 150% of monthly sales achieved in just 3 days using the Koten strategy.
What’s reassuring for many of us is the statement directly from Sharp’s top management that they are here to stay in the Philippines – through thick and thin. 
It will be exciting to watch and see what Sharp (Phils.) Corp.’s 2012 offerings will look like.