12 April 2018

UP Marine Science Institute’s Mark Tolentino (rightmost) engages the interest of Science Camp participants in plankton sampling activity.  

For most, the dry season or “summer” time is for art workshops and taekwondo lessons; but for students from various public schools in Siquijor, it’s all about the sea, the atmosphere, science, and saving the planet.  

Forty students are about to experience becoming scientists in the 2018 Climate Science Youth Camp, a project organized annually by the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), which will run this year from April 17 to 22 in the island province.

The Science Camp is one of DOST-SEI’s most anticipated projects that aims to encourage the youth to get into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses. It is also one of the most effective platforms of the Institute as many of the camp’s previous participants are now enrolled in STEM fields while some are now DOST scholars.

Aside from the students, 20 teachers from different public schools in Regions VI and VII will also take part in the series of experiential learning activities about oceanography and climate science.

This year’s theme, “Oceans and Climate Towards a Resilient Planet”, emphasizes the interaction of oceans and atmosphere and how climate and weather affect our lives.

This is the camp’s eighth run and the second time in Siquijor, following last year’s classroom-based bootcamp. For SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo, the camp’s job in Siquijor is yet to be completed.

Students will have the actual “camp experience” this year as they get to spend more time in the ocean with no less than marine scientists from the University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute (UP MSI) and weather forecasters from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-PAGASA) as camp facilitators.

“We’d like to continue what we’ve started in the province. Siquijor is home to marine sanctuaries which we need to preserve especially because of their huge influence on climate change. We hope that through the science camp, we can instill in our participants their role in the changing climate and empower them with basic skills to survive the risks they face in their communities,” said Biyo. (30)