Thai students, Filipino coach win medals and honorable mention in New York


Chonburi – Four Thai students from Chonkanyanukoon School in Chonburi under the supervision of a Filipino coach, brought honor and recognition to their school and the country as a whole at the recently concluded GENIUS OLYMPIAD 2018 (Genius International High School Environmental Project Olympiad) held at State University of New York at Oswego on June 11-16, 2018.

Read: 3 Thai students, Filipino teacher win award in ‘campus sustainability confab’ in Malaysia

The project of Warinthorn Tanasapsakul and Kornkanok Rujipermpoon, both 17, received 70% – 50% of the participants which enable them to bring home the bronze medal. The second team’s project which comprised of 18-year-old students Sudfa Visuddhidham and Tanyarat Boonprasit, received an Honorable Mention with 50-20% of the participants.

Although the two projects were locally the final round winners for Central and Eastern Regions in 2016 & 2017, joining the Olympiad was not a walk in the park. According to Ms. Jonna Adorador Timada, a Bukidnon native and Filipino science teacher of the Thai students, a Thai organization in Bangkok rejected their first project – claiming that the project was not useful.

“The kids were devastated about the comments from the said organization, and they felt like they were not good enough. Therefore, I sent their papers directly to Genius Olympiad and luckily they got accepted as one of the finalists,” Timada said.

“The research paper format posed as a challenge as well. The paper should not exceed 15 pages and our original research papers ranged from 50-70 pages. To top it off, we can’t find any Genius Olympiad Science Research Paper as our reference. It was tough but we found our way and we did our best,” Timada added.

When asked why they join the Genius Olympiad, Timada told Pinoy Legacy that she wanted her students to be part of this big event so as to showcase her students’ science skills in the international arena. “This is also my students opportunity to meet other students from around the globe, especially during the project set-up and intercultural fair”, the Filipino coach added.

Timada shared her happiness for the wonderful experience. “Aside from getting into the finalists and later getting the awards, which is already a great achievement, I also got a 10-year multiple entry US visa issued on my birthday, 1 June, and all expenses paid. Everything was a huge success and an amazing opportunity for me as a teacher.”

The Filipino science teacher also left an advice for her fellow countrymen teaching in Thailand. “As a science adviser/coach, it is very important to love what you are doing. Be passionate and dedicated in your work. I think my career as a science teacher is making a progress. This is not because I am that good, but maybe because I didn’t stop trying to be good. So, keep on learning. Be a lifelong learner. You need to work hard to achieve something because hard work really pays off. Remember, there is no such thing as easy way. Never be discouraged when you encounter potholes along the way. Never give up. Believe that you can do it!,”  Timada quipped.

GENIUS Olympiad is an international high school project competition about environmental issues. It is founded and organized by the Terra Science and Education and hosted by the State University of New York at Oswego. GENIUS Olympiad disciplines with an environmental focus include Science, Robotics, Arts, Music, Business, Creative Writing, and Short Film.

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