Teacher Profile: Cristina Pusta

Ms. Cristina Pusta is a Grade 9 and Grade 12 Science and Biology teacher in Brokenshire College Toril, Davao City, Philippines

In teaching science, what would you say is most important to you?

As a science teacher, the most important character that one should have is having deep knowledge and passion in teaching, to be able to provide meaningful classroom activities and to have adaptive communication skills so that my students can easily understand science concepts. The science teacher must have a golden heart to generously share his/ her knowledge, and be willing to reach out to the needs of the students for them to understand and learn the science concepts.

Do you find it challenging to engage your students with learning science?

Yes! Many students perceived science to be difficult subject and are minimally engaged in learning it. With the technology we have nowadays, it distracts the students to focus and be interested in learning. It takes a lot of effort to teach them and maintain their attention in class.

How important are experiments for teaching science?

Having fun and enjoyable science experiment makes the students interested in the science subject. Some of my students mentioned that they learn best in science when they are doing experiments and they always look forward to hands-on activities in science instead of pure lecture and discussion, so boredom may be avoided. Having hands-on activities can also help them develop and enhance their skills in manipulating and handling science equipment.

What year did you participate in a Pueblo Science training? If multiple times, please include all the years that you participated.

  • 2012 – Brokenshire College
  • 2014 – Ateneo De Davao
  • 2015 – Ateneo De Davao
  • 2017 – Ateneo De Davao
  • 2018 – Ateneo De Davao

At the Pueblo Science RISE workshop in 2012, Davao City, Philippines

How did the Pueblo Science training impact you as a teacher?

Pueblo Science taught me how to look for readily available materials for my science experiments. It made me more resourceful and creative in teaching science. It made me a better teacher to my students because they are more engage and I have encouraged them to take up science related courses.

Did you use the Pueblo Science experiments in class?

Yes, I did.

  • Hydraulics
  • Lava Lamp
  • Elephant toothpaste
  • Ice Cream Making
  • Diffusion/ Transport- Potato, Flower & Gummy Bears
  • Bio Indicator
  • Hot Air Balloon
  • Soap Making
  • Flexagon

In total, how many of your students have performed the activities that you learned from Pueblo Science?

Since 2012, I have taught more than 500 students. I also shared this to my fellow science teachers in school and also to my classmates in my master’s class and have shared this to different communities in Davao City.

For example, I taught the Ice Cream Making Experiment in our Immersion Class for our Master’s Degree wherein we are able to teach this to out-of-school youth. I also conducted our own version of Pueblo Science Camp during the Math and Science Fair and also shared my knowledge outside school campus in a public school as one of their speakers during a program. Recently, I taught the Hydraulics Making in Celebration of the Math Sci and Robotics Fair

Teaching materials from the RISE Workshops in her own classes

How did the activities impact your students?

My students are more engaged and interested in science. I made them excited to be in class because of the hands- on activities and experiments. They are able to understand science concepts easily and have concrete knowledge about the topic and can relate the concepts and apply to their daily activities

Did you or any of your students used the activities outside of the classroom?

The first time that I taught the Ice Cream Making Experiment in my Chemistry Class back in 2012, one of my students related it to her Entrepreneurship class and made it into a business and sold ice cream in the school!

How common is it for students from your community to pursue science related programs in university?

I have mentioned that students perceive science as a difficult subject and are disengaging from it. One piece of evidence to support this is that senior highschool students have low enrollment in the STEM strand program. Out of 14 sections in our school, the STEM strand has only 1 section. One reason for this is the lack of exposure of these students to experiments and hands-on activities. I believe that if we only give our students the opportunity to experience fun and engaging activities, it will inspire them to take up and pursue science in their higher education.

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