Mapúa senior high school student wins top prize in South Korean invention competition

Home|News|Posted on : September/16/2016 Skip Navigation Links Skip Navigation Links

Grade 11 student Alec Denji Santos with the Securitree prototype.

A student of Mapúa Senior High School was among the contestants who bagged the top prize in an invention competition held in South Korea from July 28 to 30.

Alec Denji S. Santos, a grade 11 student under the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) strand of Mapúa, together with his teammates from Valenzuela City School of Mathematics and Science, won the Gold award for the Environment and Biology category for their invention Securitree— a device with built-in sensors against illegal loggers and forest fires—during the 5th World Invention Creativity Contest (WICC) held at Seoul Trade and Exhibition Convention, Seoul. The project uses the widely emerging technology of the Internet of Things (IoT), a technology that enables autonomous communication between intelligent devices that are sensitive to the presence of a person, enhancing one’s lifestyle.

According to Santos, the idea for Securitree came to be during the massive forest fires on Mt. Apo last March.

“During the forest fires on Mt. Apo, we decided to come up with something that will protect our forests from the main causes of deforestation: illegal logging and forest fires,” Santos said. “Securitree is a security system equipped with motion and fire sensors that has the ability to detect and analyze illegal logging and forest fires.”

The Securitree hardware is a box equipped with sensors, a camera, and a solar panel. It is camouflaged and will be installed on a tree. The motion sensors detect movement, triggering the camera to take pictures. A microcontroller board inside the device acts as the “brain” that analyzes the captured data and sends it to forest managers through the Internet, alerting them of the current situation.

Fires are monitored through a flame sensor, while the solar panel serves as the electricity source of the device.

Aside from the gold medal award, the Securitree was also commended with the Excellence Grand Award in the same competition.

The WICC, organized by the Korea University Invention Association, is a place for young inventors to showcase their projects internationally. More than 15,000 students from elementary through college from 20 countries participated in the WICC this year.

Last year, Santos and his team designed the Emergency Window, an invention that turns an ordinary window into a fire exit equipped with smoke sensor and alarm. The invention was inspired by and dedicated to the victims of the massive fire that razed Kentex Manufacturing Corporation, a rubber footwear factory, in Valenzuela. The Emergency Window won third runner-up in the Regional Invention Contest and Exhibit of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and was selected by the Technological Application and Promotion Institute for a patent application.

Mapúa Senior High School will be offering a basic course on IoT for incoming Grade 12 students under the STEM strand in 2017.