Fil-Am student won Science Technology Engineering and Math fair two years in a row

By Lori Lyn Lirio

Michael Jon Cantil’s project “Smart Street Lighting Control System” won first place in middle school category. This is his second win. His first was in 2017. Photo © Lori Lyn Lirio

FOR two consecutive years, Eskuelan San Francisco De Borja Filipino-American student Michael Jon Cantil won in the CNMI Public School System Island-wide Science Technology Engineering and Math Fair.

Cantil, a seventh grader, won first place in the Middle School: 6th-8th Grade Category in the recently-held CNMI Public School System Island-wide STEM Fair at Chacha Ocean View Middle School. He also won in 2017 with his project Wireless Mobile Phone Charger.

In an online interview, Cantil said his project entitled “Smart Street Lighting Control System” aims to conserve electricity by using street lighting control system technology.

Michael Jon Cantil works on his project “Smart Street Lighting Control System” for the presentation at the CNMI PSS Island-wide STEM Fair. Photo © Lori Lyn Lirio

“The Smart Street Lighting Control System uses motion sensing technology that automatically dims the street light to 20 percent power when no vehicle or person is in the vicinity. When a person or car approaches, their movement is detected by the closest streetlight infrared sensor and its output goes up t 100 percent full brightness,” Cantil explained of his latest project.

“We can conserve electricity with the use of Smart Street Lighting control system. The system is said to reduce energy consumption by up to 65 percent, and reducing maintenance cost by as much as 90 percent,” he added.

In 2017, his project was Wireless Mobile Phone Charger. He explained that his project used electromagnetic induction between receiver coil and the transmitter coil to charge the mobile phone wirelessly. He is now using his wireless charger for his cellphone.

“In addition, it is able to charge a remote control toy car wirelessly by just parking the car on the wireless charging station and it will start charging the battery,” he said.

Cantil said he got these ideas on the internet and he started researching about it with the help of his parents.

“I didn’t expect to win again. This year there’s a lot of nice project from other schools. When they announced the first place project, I was happy that I made it again this year,” he said.

His mother, Rorilyn, said Cantil did the projects all by himself. She said he is interested in computers and electronics.

“He always watched his father when my husband is working on the computer.”

At age four, the mother said, they bought him a laptop and they often find him researching or watching videos of do-it-yourself projects, which mostly related to gadgets and electronics.

At 13, the mother added, Cantil is well-versed in installing operating system and software and reformatting computers.

Like most teenagers, her son is fond of gadgets and electronics.

“We let him have his own laptop because we know that it helps him hone his skills and he is using it to further educate himself.”

Rorilyn said her son used to do projects that he could use personally, like the wireless charger. She added her son is now interested on researching projects that could benefit the community, like the Smart Street Lighting Control System.

According to Cantil, his dream is to further develop his Smart Street Lighting Control System with built in surveillance and tsunami warning system.

Aside from his parents, Cantil thanked his teachers Ed Maratita, Rose Lucero, Flor Chavez and ESFDB principal Carmen Atalig for supporting him during the STEM Fair competition.

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