Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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!

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