Asteroid Named After Filipino High School Student : DOST Scholar Wows World!

Some dream of stars, planets, or comets. But, this high school student got himself an asteroid.

An asteroid will be named after Department of Science and Technology Merit Scholar Miguel Arnold Reyes as he bagged the second grand award in the recently concluded 2011 International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held in Los Angeles, California.

Reyes, who just graduated from the Philippine Science High School Main Campus, took home US $1,500 and an asteroid as an award from the Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the first and second placers.

His research on “Synthesis and Characterization of Composite Plastics from Thermoplastic Starch and Nano-sized Calcium Phosphate for Film Packaging,” which seeks to produce biodegradable plastic for film packaging from a composite of thermoplastics from cornstarch and nano-sized phosphate particles.

Reyes will be joining the ranks of Filipinos who got an asteroid named after them.

Former Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration Administrator Dr. Roman L. Kintanar, Edwin Aguirre, Imelda Joson, PSHS Western Visayas Campus Director Josette Biyo, Allan Noriel Estrella, Jeric Valles Macalintal, Prem Vilas Fortran Rara, and Father Victor Badillo were all given the privilege to have asteroids named after them.

Science Education Institute-DOST Officer-in-Charge Dr. Leticia V. Catris expressed her congratulations to Reyes, who will be pursuing a computer engineering course at the University of the Philippines – Diliman.

“Reyes is a welcome addition to growing roster of future scientists and engineers in the country which will take the Philippines to greater heights. We are optimistic that Reyes will even outshine the asteroid named after him as he pursues a science career,” she said.

Angeli Joyce Dy of Capiz National High School also won the 4th Grand Award in the 2011 ISEF for her research on Milkfish (Chanos chanos Forsskal) Serum as an Alternative Media Supplement for Culture of A549 (Human Lung) and HCT 116 (Colon) Carcinomas. She took home a cash prize of US $500.

Dy’s research seeks for an alternative media supplement to the expensive fetal bovine serum (FBS) being used as culture of the lung and colon cancer cells. Her study showed that the milkfish serum is rich in mannose-binding proteins and albumin which are potential replacements of FBS.

The International Science and Engineering Fair is an annual science competition organized by the Society for Science and the Public which provides a venue for high school students all over the world to showcase their independent research.

The Intel ISEF is the premiere science competition in the world exclusively for students in grades 9–12. It has grown from the National Science Fair, which was created by Society for Science & the Public (then known as Science Service) in 1950. In 1958, the fair became international for the first time when Japan, Canada, and Germany joined the competition.

Congratulations, Miguel! Mabuhay ang Kabataang Pilipino!


  1.  Hats off to our great Filipino students

  2. Good News Students!   In a recent report there are over 1 Billion Asteroids, whose size is at least 100 Meters, in existence between Mars & Jupiter.

    So plenty more to go round folks


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