By John Marty Mateo
I can still vividly remember the first time I volunteered for Pueblo Science. It was a fine day in Ilocos Norte, a province in the northern part of the Philippines, this is the first time that I will be joining an organization with an advocacy to educate the teachers and students of ways to improve their learning in a subject close to my heart – SCIENCE. I was thrilled and nervous at the same time knowing that the participants for that particular event was teachers (older than I am). I prepared my lesson well, I even rehearsed my jokes because I don’t want my lecture to be boring. The first session was nerve-wracking to say the least, because I don’t have any formal training in teaching (because I work as a research assistant). But once you get the momentum in teaching it will lead you somewhere, the experience went from nerve-wracking to having an adrenaline rush to excitement and finally fulfilment. To see their faces light up and to see those eureka moments from them when they finally discovered the science behind a simple experiment was very rewarding.
Here in the Philippines, science is just a subject taught in a confined room where there is literally little to no practical application of the concept. This is the reason why only a few students appreciate science and pursue science related course as a career. The Pueblo Science Team provides designed experiments that is easy to execute with readily available materials and these experiments are really fun and enjoyable. I am very positive that these trainings will have a huge impact in our youth in the next generation.
I have been volunteering in Pueblo for the last three years and I must say that the experience is very fulfilling and rewarding. I discovered that I am good at teaching and talking to people. I also find this volunteer work an eye opener on the real situation of the Philippine society when it comes to science and technology. The hindrance in learning science will push me to relay these learnings that I got from Pueblo Science to other people especially in the rural areas. Hopefully in the future, we will be bearing the fruit of our labor and we will produce a great amount of scientists in the Philippines. I am thanking Pueblo Science Team for giving me an opportunity to help educate these teachers and for also bringing out talents that I thought I didn’t have. Kudos to the people behind Pueblo Science and I am hoping that this program will continue to expand and reach far places so that many people can appreciate, understand and enjoy the subject that we all love – SCIENCE.