24 January 2010

Pinay Student Wins Novartis Contest

Get with the Beat
Another good news for many Filipino grade students.

A Grade 7 student from De La Salle Santiago Zobel (DLSZ) School in Muntinlupa City topped the 10- to 13-year-old age category of the Novartis 'Get with the Beat' international online video competition.

Ika de la Cruz bested elementary students from the Philippines and Spain who participated in the global competition organized by the Swiss research-based pharmaceutical company Novartis AG to promote public awareness on high blood pressure and heart health.

She received computer equipment worth £100 (PhP 8,000) from Novartis Healthcare Philippines during a simple awarding ceremony held recently at the DLSZ School grounds.

'Get with the Beat' builds on children and teenagers' fascination with online technology by providing a creative outlet for communication addressed to their parents and grandparents.

With the driving theme of health and life linked to heart health and blood pressure control, 'Get with the Beat' challenges individual students or groups of students to make a video appeal to their loved ones with the core message, "I want you to be around when I grow up."

Students used a webcam to produce short (30 seconds to one minute) public service announcements/e-commercials to highlight the impact high blood pressure can have on everyday life and how it can be easily controlled.

They were asked to make a video that was informative, interesting, and creative; addressed to family members; and included advice on how to learn more about controlling high blood pressure.

Students were encouraged to use animation, computer effects, and other video editing techniques. High blood pressure could be approached from any angle, be it emotional, scientific or a combination of both.

Beginning 28 September 2008, students uploaded their public service announcement/e-commercial for the competition via the website www.getwiththebeat.com. Deadline for submission of entries was 28 February 2009.

Entries were judged based on creativity, how well the importance of managing blood pressure was addressed, and persuasiveness. Final judging was held on 18 March 2009. Judges chose one winner (either an individual or a group) worldwide for each age category (10-13 years, 14-18 years and 18+ years).

Selected schools were provided with a starter/activity pack containing all the necessary materials and support to successfully implement the online video competition and related school activities.

A school activity toolkit offered guidance and education to help teachers effectively discuss high blood pressure/heart disease with students.

"Congratulations to Ika de la Cruz for crafting a brief but creative and persuasive video. We commend all the students who participated in this competition and their teachers for helping promote heart health awareness among Filipinos," said Dr. Rafael Castillo, Philippine Society of Hypertension past president and a member of the local panel of judges.

"This innovative contest proves that young people’s fascination with online technology can be channeled into a positive outlet for communicating powerful health messages," said Angelo Palmones, president of the Philippine Science Journalists Association and one of the local judges.

"We thank the officials and teachers of our partner schools for their invaluable support in ensuring the successful participation of their students in this international competition. Novartis will continue to implement initiatives that promote awareness on health and improve public health," said Christine Liwanag, corporate affairs and market access director of Novartis Healthcare Philippines.