The 1st Eton International School iKids Challenge

When I was still in school, I'm honestly admit that I'm a grade-conscious kid. I always have this "extra curricular" activities to support my grades and I, sometime, do join school contests to be recognized. Studying in public is really tough, if you'll ask me, but with this things that really honed my talent and skills, I really had a great time in school!

That's why when I got an invite to witness the first-ever IT/digital media competition called i-Kids Challenge (i-Excel, i-Thrive. i-Open. i-Network) of Eton International School in Manila, I didn't hesitate and said yes immediately.

I've been in Eton International School before, and with their wonderful facilities and program, I can't help but to be get envy with these kids. Everything was so amazing that something inside of me saying to go back to school. Hehe.

Anyway, going back to the contest, Eton International School, an academic institution that engages in K-12 education, hosted this ultra high-tech event that aims to discover young IT experts of this generation. And with 33 students from the country's 12 top schools and universities, the competition pushes through.

I honestly do now know what to expect, so when I arrived at the venue, I'm actually clueless as to what iKids stand for. But with the help of Eton's school director and founder, Jacqueline Marzan-Tolentino, and her staff, we were informed as to what will happen that day.

iKids Challenge is divided into four categories in where kids as young as 6 can compete on this prestigious competition. There's the Digital Painting, Digital Art, Video Editing and Web Designs.

Mind you, kids who joined here came from Grades 3 til Grades 10. And some of them are actually public school students, so they were very unbelievable.

For Digital Painting, kids from Grade 1-3 (6-9 years old) will create an art form using digital tools such as MS Paint. For Digital Art, kids from Grade 4-6 (10-12 years old) will make a contemporary artistic work using digital technology and apply Adobe Photoshop skills and techniques. For Video Editing, kids from 1st and 2nd Year High School (13-16 years old) will manipulate segments of animated graphic/video footage, special effects and sound recordings to make a multi-media presentation. And for Web Design, kids from 3rd and 4th Year High School (13-16 years old) will conceptualize and create a website involving graphic designs and  interactive elements.

I was one of the lucky few who got to witness how these kids made their pure imaginations to a complete and real stuff. And I bet that the panel of judges, which composed of Thea Joy Manalo, Project Coordinator, Department of Education (DepEd) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Elementary Schools at the Bureau of Elementary Education, Leah Marie Sy, Department of Tourism (DOT) Chief of the Administrative Department of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), Giselle Kasilag of The Legal Commune, Armando Atienza, Jr. of TV5, Ryan Arengo of National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Leigh Childs of Let’s Go Social Media and Tim Yap, celebrity, endorser, eventologist and social media advocate, had a hard time deliberating on who's the best among all of those wonderfully made crafts.

I got to see the 33 participants' works too, and I must admit that most of it were really good - even better looking than my page here, so I kinda knew how hard it will be for the judges. And since I got to see all the entries p-close, I do have personal favorites.

The iKids Challenge ran for 1 and a half hour. With all of the participants working in one room, it was so just so amazing to see how these kids came up with such an unbelievable ideas. And with the theme of Department of Tourism's "It's More Fun in the Philippines", it really feels so good too see how the young generation cares to our country.

But before the announcement of winners, special award were awarded first for those works that Mr. Tim Yap  likes a.k.a. Tim Yap Choice Award.

Four students from every category got to take home a certificate of Tim Yap Choice Award together with Eton International School gift bag and a Unisilver iKids necklace.

Tim Yap was really amazed by the outcome of this contest. He said that seeing all those entries was really his pleasure, and he do hopes that Eton International School will keep this contest for he believes that the future of our country is in the hands of these future IT/digital media practitioner.

After an hour of waiting, the announcement of the winners of the 1st iKids Challenge was done.

And the winners are Judes Christopher Echauz of Makati Hope Christian School for Video Editing, Erika Ramos of St. Theresa’s College for Digital Painting, Joseph John Milla of Ateneo De Manila High School for Web Design and Bianca Violette Guerra of St.Theresa’s College for Digital Art.

The winners received cash prizes, trophies, certificates, and will be the official delegates to Casual Connect Asia 2012, the world’s largest mass market games conference series, on May 22-24, 2012 in Singapore. The Casual Connect Asia 2012 gathers over 100 industry speakers for the 20th Casual Connect to discuss the future of the games industry. 

This will be an all-expense paid trip for the four winners courtesy of Eton International School.

To all the students, coaches and parents, congratulations! May this be an effective way to respond to the tall marching order of finding ways to develop a new generation of science and technology-savvy graduates that will bring the nation to new levels of economic progress.

More pictures here.

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