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  • Writer's pictureChrystian Perote

Lab-in-a-Box: Transforming Science Education in the Philippines

Last May 4th, a webinar was organized by the Ateneo Intellectual Property Office (AIPO), where more than 120 Chemistry and Physics teachers came together to learn about an exciting solution called Lab-in-a-Box. Led by Ms Mariela Alcaparas MSc, Program Development Officer at AIPO, the program aimed to tackle the challenges of limited access to hands-on lab experiments for high school teachers.


Engr Benjamin Mirasol, Head of the Commercialization and Business Incubation Group at AIPO, formally opened the event with his welcoming remarks, highlighting the importance of bringing science education to the next level. His insightful words set the tone for an engaging and productive discussion among attendees.


Photo: Partial Photo Attendance of Lab-in-a-Box Webinar
Photo: Partial Photo Attendance of Lab-in-a-Box Webinar

The Lab-in-a-Box was born out of a collaboration among teachers in the Chemistry and Physics Departments at the Ateneo de Manila University's School of Science and Engineering (SoSE). It started as a way to help students do lab work online during the pandemic when students didn't have access to lab equipment, resulting to a knowledge gap. The SoSE Lab@Home Kits were put together with the help of teachers, technicians, and other staff to make sure students could do experiments at home similar to the ones they would do in a regular science laboratory. The Ateneo students with chemistry laboratory courses from all over the country were given access to these kits through the Loyola Schools Bookstore. Now, these kits have evolved and are now tailor-fitted to the needs of senior high school students in the STEM strand. This change is a big step forward for STEM education, making essential laboratory experimentation accessible and available.


During the webinar, dedicated break-out sessions were separately allocated for physics and chemistry teachers to delve into the particular hurdles they encountered, bringing up practical problems they’ve been confronted with. Notably, Mr Ivan Culaba, MSc, Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics in Ateneo, and Dr Erwin Enriquez, PhD, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering Program inSoSE, took the lead in addressing the existing challenges within their respective departments.

Currently, the kit is still in development, being customized to meet the specific needs of high school students and teachers. The Lab-in-a-Box team is organizing meetups at high schools to conduct demo workshops showcasing the kits. In the upcoming months, they will be visiting three provinces: Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, and Davao, making quality science experiments more accessible and available for everyone.


 

To know more about the Lab-in-a-Box and Ateneo Intellectual Property Office, visit: www.aipo.ateneo.edu or follow them on social media for the latest updates and announcements via www.fb.com/AteneoIPO or www.linkedin.com/company/AteneoIPO. 

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