Dion Ong receives UNSW medal for top-scoring in Grade 8 ICAS-Mathematics competition

At a conferment ceremony held last Saturday, January 30, at the SM North Edsa Skydome, Ateneo de Manila Junior High School student Dion Stephan J. Ong of 8-Campion received the University of New South Wales (UNSW) medal. The medal was in recognition of Dion being one of the top scorers in his grade level in the 2015 International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS)- Mathematics.

Over 980,000 entrants participated in all subject areas of ICAS in 2015, but only 514 students from Australia and 100 students from New Zealand and the Pacific Region (including the Philippines) were awarded medals for outstanding achievement. In fact, Dion was one of only two Filipino Grade 8 math wizards to be awarded the UNSW medal and the medal winner’s certificate for achieving a perfect score in the 2015 ICAS – Mathematics test conducted by the UNSW, Australia in August 2015.  

Per the ICAS website, “The ICAS is an independent, skills-based assessment program which recognizes and rewards student achievement. ICAS is unique, being the most comprehensive generally available suite of academic assessments for primary and secondary school students. For more than 30 years, Educational Assessment Australia (EAA) has continuously improved and enhanced ICAS. Today, this experience means ICAS is a 21st century quality assessment that keeps pace with classroom learning.”

Dion Ong is one of the Ateneo de Manila’s most accomplished “mathletes.” Exactly one week before he was conferred the UNSW medal, he qualified as a finalist in the Philippine Mathematical Olympiad (PMO) held on January 23 at University of Santo Tomas. Dion placed 11th out of 4,622 participants from all over the Philippines. He's also the youngest among the 20 national finalists, the majority of whom are from Grade 10 and Grade 11. Of the 20 PMO finalists,15 were from the NCR, three were from Luzon and two were from Mindanao.

As a PMO finalist, Dion has been invited to the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Camp (MOSC) to be held in UP and Ateneo from April to May 2016. It is from the participants of the MOSC that six delegates will be handpicked to represent the Philippines in the 57th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) to be held in Hong Kong in July 2016. The IMO is the equivalent of the Olympics in Mathematics in the secondary level.