MINERVA BC NEWMAN
CEBU CITY – Introducing a Math & Science whiz kid in Cebu City that has been winning golds and silvers and even bronze in the Philippine International Math and Science Olympics (PIMSO) and in various Math/Science national and international competitions since 2021 up to the present.
Kiersten Candice Sy, 14 and Grade 7 student at the Cebu City National Science High School in Labangon, Cebu City won gold in Math during the latest Philippine International Math and Science Olympics (PIMSO) on June 12 and she won silver in Science in the June 26 PIMSO for its online competition.
PIMSO is an international competition organized by the International Champions in Education (ICE) headed by chief executive Robert Fordan. PIMSO is a competition for Kindergarten to senior 12 to promote excellence and proficiency in Mathematics and Science through friendly global competitions.
There are at least 340 or more national participants/contestants and they are given 90 minutes to finish the test with two camera devices monitoring the students.
Dr. Catherine Sy, Kiersten’s mom said that Kiersten has already participated in 50-60 math and science competitions organized by different Math and Science organizations in the country and abroad and she has won about nine or 10 gold, six silver and seven bronze medals and some certificates.
Kiersten has been competing in Math and Science Olympics since 2021 where she won gold in Science in the August, 2021 PIMSO, National Round; won gold in the Copernicus Natural-Science Global on November 3, 2021; gold in Math at the Siam International Math & Science Olympics on November 10, 2021; International STEM Olympiad in Math on December 15; Hongkong International Science Olympiad-HEAT Round on Dec. 17; CREST Olympiad International on March 3, 2022; Copernicus Mathematics on April 30, 2022; Challenge for Future Mathematician 2022 on May 13, 2022; SASMO- Singapore and ASIAN Schools Math Olympiad; and the latest PIMSO on June 12, 2022.
Kiersten competed under the SIMSO Mathematics Primary 6 category where she also won the gold and is ranked top in the Philippines. She also received a gold medal after she ranked 7th in the Category 1 for Grade 5-6 level in the Copernicus Natural Science Olympiad.
She also received the Department of Education (DepEd) achievement awards and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) awardee for the Youth Excellence in Science (YES) for two years.
Let’s get to know this genius kid
Kiersten showed interest in mathematics at an early age. Kiersten was around six to seven years old when she started solving math problems. She first competed in the Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge (MMC), an annual mathematics competition aimed at raising the competitiveness of elementary and high school students.
In an exclusive virtual interview with this writer, Kiersten explained that her, solving Math problems is just like completing jigsaw puzzles and this fascination drove her to excel in Mathematics. She is a bookworm on anything Science and Math.
“I love to study and solve problems, especially those in math and science. I challenge myself every day to solve problems in math and natural science, which are my favorite subjects. But I also have other interests like drawing and art and I have this fascination to do crafts and small stuffs such as making origami,” Kiersten told this writer.
Mom Catherine told this writer that aside from undergoing training before the competitions, Kiersten also includes prayers as part of her preparations. She usually takes care of her siblings on her free time. Even at an early age, Kiersten is a very responsible child even in small things, more so with her studies.
“How do you feel being called a genius?”
“Actually, I could not call myself as Genius, so many participants are better than me, I won because of discipline, time management and prayers. I always make time for playing gadgets, online interactions with my friends from my previous schools and of course doing my tasks in school,” Kiersten answered.
Kiersten narrated that she used to experience a lot of insecurities before, when she was enrolled in a Chinese private school. She sometime received hate letters and felt that she was bullied. At first, she said she gave in, she would intentionally not answer her test paper to give way to the ranking, but she later realized that was wrong.
“I should love myself and should consider doing what makes me happy. Being an achiever is not a sin, all I want is for my parents to be happy and give back the good things they provide for me.
Every moment that I will be sitting on a competition I motivate myself to win, honestly speaking who wouldn’t wish to win?” Kiersten said.
Kiersten also congratulated some Cebu participants who won in different competitions. She thanked God for showing her the right path, for meeting the right people especially the President of the ICE organization, Robert Fordan who accepted and motivated her in her journey to every Math & Science Olympics.
“I’ve learned a lot this pandemic, I learned that things don’t always turn out the way you planned, or the way you think they should. And I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken, and I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones but as long as you have people beside you. Thank you to my Dad and Mom for being a rainbow to my sunshine even in my darkest days.
These are the words of gratitude and wisdom from this whiz kid from Cebu, Kiersten Sy.