Indonesia— It’s another moment of pride for the entire BISU community as students from Bohol Island State University (BISU) clinched victory at the highly anticipated CHRONICS 2023, Southeast Asia’s premier Product Design and Ergonomics Competition. The event, held last September 14-17, 2023, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, is an annual activity sponsored by the Industrial Engineering Students Association of Universitas Gadjah Mada in Indonesia.
The team was composed of BISU Industrial Design students from the Main Campus, namely Medy Gucaban (Team Leader), Jocelyn Faith Pozon, and Kenn Bantugan, with Mr. Jerome Manatad, Industrial Designer and Director of FABLAB, as their Team Adviser.
The competition’s theme, “Igniting Children’s Interest in the Science Field through STEM TOYS,” addressed the concern that the younger generations in Southeast Asia may not be sufficiently prepared to thrive in an interconnected world.
Thus, the BISU students representing their institution showcased their ingenious ideas in product design and ergonomics, committed to creating powerful learning tools for children.
The Winning Project – The Matblock
The Team Product Design is called ‘’MatBlock’’, a 2-in-1 board game that consists of a sliding puzzle for mathematical operations and a tic-tac-toe game for analytical thinking, which was fabricated and prototyped in the first Fabrication Laboratory in the Philippines (FABLAB BOHOL – BOHOL).
Matblock introduces a new game challenge with fun learning mechanics. By letting users play with interaction, it allows challengers to use critical thinking and decision-making.
Matblock features a mathematical sliding puzzle, allowing participants to solve mathematical calculations from the game. The puzzle also applies braille markings and tactile elements for the visually impaired and blind children.
The toy enhances one’s mathematical calculation ability, improves concentration and decision-making, promotes mindfulness, and provides fun while learning. Furthermore, it offers a safe space for children to expand their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and widen their critical thinking skills and collaboration ability. It also promotes inclusivity, gender equality, and quality education.
The team received all-out support from the Bohol Island State University administration, under the leadership of Dr. Anthony M. Penaso as University President, Dr. Ivy Corazon Mangaya-ay as Vice President of Research, Innovation and Extension, Dr. Proceso Castil as Campus Director of the Main Campus, and Engr. Julius Castro as Dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Industrial Design. This support was complemented by the unwavering backing of Comm. Jo Mark M. Libre, Chairperson-Designate of the BISU Board of Regents, along with all members of the University’s governing board.
As to what inspired the team to create “Matblock,” they said they believe that children with special needs have their own strengths and weaknesses and deserve a product to help them grow and expound their abilities.
Their winning entry demonstrated exceptional creativity and highlighted their dedication to addressing societal challenges, particularly in encouraging children’s interest in science and technology. Their innovative approach and commitment to STEM education stood out in a fiercely competitive field.
The BISU community is celebrating this remarkable achievement, which reflects the university’s commitment to nurturing young talents and preparing them for the challenges of the modern world.