Group calls for more private sector support for S&T awareness

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Text and photos by Rizal Raoul Reyes

The private sector?s support is the ?spark? that the country needs to promote science awareness to the Filipinos.

This is according to Filemon Berba Jr., president of the Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology (PFST), who said financial assistance from the private sector is crucial in spreading the importance of science, especially to Filipino high school students.

Berba said the private companies have so far been extending support to PFST programs such as the Centrum and the Traveling Exhibits. But more needs to be done, he said.

Berba, a former president of Integrated Microelectronics Inc. (IMI) and Globe Telecom, said the task of building awareness and appreciation of science is a challenging task considering the limitation of available resources.

?The importance of the private companies comes into play because they can fund our programs,? said Berba.

?Another form of support is by becoming members of our Council of Advisers like former Prime Minister Cesar Virata, Ambassador Cesar Bautista, Dr. Jose B Cruz, and other prominent executives. They become leads for more support locally and internationally,? he added.

For instance, a traveling exhibit called Science Sparks, is currently being sponsored by real estate firm DMCI, through Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp, a subsidiary of Semirara Mining Corporation.

The science concepts in the roadshow are aligned to the Department of Education?s learning competencies in energy for Grades III to X.

Edgardo Lagman, the facilities manager of the Semirara-Calaca plant, said the exhibit?s objective is to increase visitors? awareness of the nature of energy, its forms, sources, transformation, generation, impact on earth, and conservation.

He added the exhibits are designed to prompt visitors to discover and understand science concepts.

?They aim to ignite the curiosity in young minds to imagine, think of, and even invent technologies relevant to their community,? said Lagman in an interview.

The set consists of 35 interactive exhibits organized in three galleries corresponding to the sub-themes. A panel presents to the visitors an overview of the various exhibits that make up each gallery.

Each exhibit is accompanied by a brief write-up containing the name of the exhibit, what the visitor should do to manipulate it, and a brief explanation of the observed phenomenon.

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