The integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education in the Philippines has brought attention to the country’s lack of qualified teachers, classrooms, and laboratory facilities. Moreover, there exists an increasing lack of interest in the field among students.
In response to this challenge, ASSIST, in partnership with Telstra Foundation spearheaded the Learning through Application and Play (LEAP) Program, an event that encourages young students to enter the field of STEM by instilling in them a fundamental understanding of STEM-related topics. LEAP was a seven-week pilot program held from 14 January to 25 February at the Zapatera Elementary School in Cebu City.
With over 150 beneficiary students from the school, the program offered collaborative, immersive, and fun activities, specially designed to match the current Science and Math curriculum in the country. A total of eight activities, ranging from inspirational talks to group experiments, were conducted over the duration of the event.
“After the three-day program, the students became more participative, active, and engaged with the activities. Now they’re more interested in [enrolling under the STEM program],” Luzviminda Pingol, MST-CS, Assistant Vice Principal of Zapatera Elementary School, shared.
The Zapatera Elementary School served as the pilot site of the program and its students from grades five and six as the target audience. ASSIST hopes that through this initiative, teachers and students alike have been given a new perspective on how to approach learning in the field of Science and Mathematics.
Moving forward, Ms. Pingol challenges herself and her colleagues to integrate their learnings from the event into the classroom. She concluded, “[I always remind my teachers] to not teach the way they want students to learn, but to teach the way [the students] want to learn, so that the students will become engaged, active, and participative in their lessons.”