by: Djonna Gay I. Albufera, Jesse M. Pine, Ma. Josefina P. Abilay

Prof. Salumbides and DepEd Oriental Mindoro Division Education Program Supervisor Claire Villaruel (center) with the participants of the HOMOMICH Seminar.

 The Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology (PFST) in cooperation with the Department of Education – Division of Oriental Mindoro and the Department of Science and Technology- MIMAROPA (DOST-MIMAROPA) through the Provincial Science and Technology Center- Oriental Mindoro (PSTC- Oriental Mindoro) brought the “Hands-on, Minds-on Microscale Chemistry” (HOMOMICH) to Mangyan teachers and other teachers of Mangyan students from all over Oriental Mindoro last November 24, 2017.

Prof. Salumbides while sharing her technique on a chemistry game.

HOMOMICH is a creative approach in teaching Science that challenges students while enjoying different interactive activities. Prof. Cora S. Salumbides, a DOST Balik Scientist Awardee and Scientist-in-Residence of the PFST introduced the microscale technique in teaching Chemistry and General Science which uses the “Laboratory in a Box” (Lab Box) during the one-day activity-based training hosted by Nabuslot National High School in Pinamalayan.

This is the lab box which was developed by Prof. Cora Salumbides along with the PFST Technical team in 2010

PFST chose 30 Mangyan teachers and other mentors who teach Mangyan students, as training beneficiaries. According to Prof. Salumbides, “It is time to recognize the teachers’ efforts and help ease the burden of preparing laboratory materials and modules for their students to best understand the principles of Science.”

Salumbides also pointed out that the Lab Box can be used not only in Chemistry, but also in teaching and learning General Science concepts.

The Lab Box is designed that will allow the teacher to easily carry it from one classroom to another. One kit can be used in teaching 50 students. The box contains minute quantities of chemicals that are not hazardous to the students and the environment and could last for three (3) years.

Teachers while mixing chemicals based on the instruction manual

The particiants during the training were given individual and group tasks using the materials from the Lab Box.  According to Salumbides, the most valuable material in the Lab Box is the Teacher’s Guide which details the activities and experiments aligned with the Department of Education’s K-12 program.

The activities and experiments focused on topics about solutions and substances; properties of solid, liquid and gas; and principles of conservation of mass to chemical reactions. Using the lab box, such topics which may seem complicated for the students can now be understood in a fun, engaging, and educational manner. Each participant also received their own Lab Box at the end of the event.

Education Program Supervisors, Dr. Haide M. Padua and Ms. Claire Villaruel thanked PFST and Dr. Salumbides for choosing Oriental Mindoro as venue to conduct the workshop. Dr. Padua requested the participants to maximize the use of the materials and take good care of it so that more students will be able to experience it.

Prof. Salumbides team on their courtesy call with PSTD Jesse M. Pine. With Prof. Salumbides are Cheryl Mulat (2nd from the right) and Annabelle Asia (extreme left)

Provincial Science and Technology Director (PSTD) Jesse M. Pine of Provincial Science and Technology Center-Oriental Mindoro (PSTC- Oriental Mindoro), encouraged that this activity be duplicated in more communities to help more students and teachers in the province. The balik scientist awardee assured that they are more than willing to roll out more laboratory in box with the help of any private and public agencies.