Pisay Davao holds Science Camp for ARMM, Region X schools

By Cary Amiel G. Villanueva

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/22 May) – Some 200 student and teacher participants from predominantly Moro areas in  Mindanao gathered here for a four-day Science Camp from May 17 to 21.

The Philippine Science High School Southern Mindanao Campus (PSHS-SMC) in Brgy. Sto. Niño, Tugbok District hosted the Camp for the second year, for 60 feeder elementary schools of the PSHS Central Mindanao Campus (PSHS-CMC) in Lanao del Norte.

The Science Camp is a component of the Mindanao Opportunities for Vitalized Education and Upgrading of Science (MOVE UPS) project. The three-year program implemented by the Department of Science and Technology’s Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) aims to strengthen the capabilities of the PSHS-CMC’s feeder schools from Marawi City, Lanao del Sur I-A, Lanao del Sur I-B, Lanao del Sur II-A, Lanao del Sur II-B, Maguindanao and Lanao del Norte.

Project MOVE UPS also seeks to improve the uptake of Muslim students in the PSHS-CMC. Thus the theme for this year’s science camp is appropriate – “Go 4 Pisay: Moving Up Through Science, Mathematics and Technology.”

Each of the invited elementary schools was requested to send one science teacher, one math teacher, as well as one science-inclined pupil and one math-inclined pupil who should be incoming grade six students.

Delia C. Legaspino, direor of the PSHS-SMC who also served as Science Camp Director, said  the student participants from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Region X will be made to take the National Competitive Examination (NCE), the entrance test for Pisay, as the PSHS is fondly called.

The participants arrived at the venue in the afternoon on Monday. In the evening, an acquaintance/cultural night was held. Participants as well as facilitators donned  national or regional costumes for the event.

In the morning of the succeeding day, the opening ceremonies were conducted. Glenn Riced G. Blanco, a participant of last year’s camp, passed the NCE and will be admitted to the PSHS-CMC this June. In fulfillment of DOST Secretary Dr. Estrella F. Alabastro’s promise last year, Blanco was given recognition for making it to the PSHS. Dr. Filma G. Brawner, PSHS System Executive Director, assisted Ogena in awarding Blanco and his school P10,000.00 each. The awardee later on gave his response and shared his experiences. In her keynote address, Ogena reiterated the challenge posed by Alabastro; “Kahit ilan pa kayo,” she said.

MOVE UPS Science Camp Year 2 involved plenary and parallel sessions as well as hands-on activities to enrich the students’ and teachers’ knowledge and interest in science, math and technology. The events were organized and facilitated by teachers, students and alumni of the PSHS-SMC in cooperation with invited speakers from various agencies.

The Philippines, Ogena said in her message, is the first in Asia to implement a science high school through the PSHS Main Campus in Diliman, Quezon City. (MindaNews contributor Cary Amiel G. Villanueva, 16, from GSIS Heights, Matina Davao City is an incoming first year college student at the University of the Philippines in Manila. He filed this story for MindaNews’ Village Voice, the laboratory newsletter of the GSIS Summer Youth Training Workshop. He joined the 2nd GSIS SYTW in the Summer of 2008)