A Compass for the Future

by Jelor Gallego

UP KEM, in its dedication to furthering the advance of scientific education in the Philippines, has long held career orientations towards prospective high school students, seeking to convince them to take up chemical engineering as their course in college.

Initially, this has been in the form of career orientation programs that encourage graduating high school students to pursue a field in chemical engineering. Yet this stalwart event of UP KEM has undergone a new iteration, adapting the event to suit the changing times.

With the advent of ASEAN regional integration and the Philippine K-12 program, COMPASS head Juan Ramon Danganan (14A) had to adapt the event with the new curriculum. And last September 19, 2015, their efforts did not come to naught.

Held at San Jose Academy in Navotas City, an estimated 100 students from grade 10 participated in a whole day track orientation program. The new K-12 program DepEd instituted added not only two years to the high school students’ stay but also implemented a track program, allowing the students to specialize in a specific track gearing towards their course of choice.

Formerly, the event advanced chemical engineering as a career of choice but now focuses on emphasizing the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) track. In its new comeback, speakers such as Curt Marvin Cruz, a B.S Education graduate who was part of the curriculum review of K-12 program explained the details of the track program.

Other speakers such as Dr. Mikaela Irene Fudolig, the child whiz, introduced the role of STEM in everyday life and society and highlighted the reasons why she pursued a STEM course. Afterwards, Sir John Michael Constantino from the UP Civil Engineering Department emphasized Civil Engineering as a future course for the students.

Last but not the least, Dr. Leila Laguyo, a guidance counselor from UP, taught the students about effective decision making and also explained the results of the students’ career assessment test that was administered during the break.

The team is planning to expand the focus beyond STEM and hopefully in two years expand its scope to pushing chemical engineering as a degree program to the will-be-then graduating students.

The program was only possible due to the newly-granted advisory status of DepEd to UP KEM. A follow-up event is being conceptualized for hopefully this November after sNCEC and the event team is busy scouting schools for the next location.

Ramon explains his hope for the program, “We hope that KEMers will volunteer to be part of the program and other KEM alumni volunteer to be speakers for future events.”

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