College of Science launches free virtual exploration series
The UP Diliman College of Science recently launched CURIOUS MINDS: The beginning of every Scientific Discovery, a series of online webinars catering to kids who are interested in exploring and learning new things about science while being stuck at their homes due to the ongoing pandemic.
About 50 youngsters have had the opportunity to join the first two legs of the webinar series—Exploring Earth, and Universe Unveiled. The virtual explorations were organized in celebration of the 2021 International Earth Day and the 2021 International Astronomy Day, respectively.
Held on April 21, the “Exploring Earth: An Earth Day Celebration” webinar was attended by 25 kids from ages 8 to 15. Dr. Betchaida Payot of the National Institute of Geological Science (NIGS) and Dr. Deo Onda of the Marine Science Institute (MSI) were present to share their wisdom with the attendees. Dr. Payot shared her journey as a geologist and some interesting facts about rocks, the earth, and her job. Dr. Onda, on the other hand, shared his experiences as a marine scientist, including his recent voyage to the Emden Deep, the third deepest part of the ocean.
Astronomy and space were the topics of the second webinar titled “Universe Unveiled: Astronomy Day Celebration” held on May 15. Thirty kids listened to guest speakers Dr. Reinabelle Reyes of the National Institute of Physics (NIP) and Dr. Gay Perez of the Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology (IESM). Dr. Reyes shared her journey to becoming an astrophysicist while Dr. Perez shared her knowledge of Philippine Astronomy and her job that involves sending computers to space. Prizes were also given to two kids who won the space-themed costume contest as part of the event.
After every guest speaker’s storytelling, participants of both webinars were given the chance to satisfy their curious minds by asking relevant questions, which the speakers were happy to answer.
“We launched this webinar series as part of our efforts to establish a science culture in the Philippines. What better way to start this than with our Filipino youth. We want to bring our scientists closer to them. Hopefully, this experience will inspire them to pursue science and to encourage their peers to do so”, says Dr. Lillian Jennifer V. Rodriguez, the CS Associate Dean of Students, Alumni, and Public Affairs.
The first two webinars were just the beginning of the college’s efforts of extending science to the masses despite the pandemic. For the next webinar, CS is currently planning on bringing Chemistry to kids through interactive sessions with science experiments, storytelling, and fun facts about chemistry.