by Jessica Ann Vilvestre
Selecting a course of study in higher education is one of the first major decisions students make. Questions like “What will I be? What will I do?” flood the mind. At this time, a young student may feel as if they are on a crossroads; surrounded by paths full of the unknown.
Junior high school students of San Jose Academy were encouraged to take the STEM track through the Compass event of CMTS.
It is with this that UP KEM holds Compass, a career series to promote the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) track to junior high school students. The event is a sub-project of the year-long Check Marks the Spot. This year’s first Compass installment, held last September 25, 2017, was for the 200 tenth-graders of New Era Public High School.
STEM handouts were given to students to provide tips in making their career choices.
Mark Steven Santiago from the Institute of Chemistry spoke about career opportunities in the sciences. He spoke about what a career in the sciences can do for them as individuals, and for their society and fellowmen. Science is a way of life, and “science befriends failures,” Mr. Santiago said. He sought to inspire the students to see science not as a boring class of memorization and book-reading, but as a boundless and boundlessly interesting pursuit of knowledge.
Christian John Immanuel Boydon of the Industrial Engineering Department showed the New Era high schoolers the true meaning of an engineering education and career. He said, “If you want to use the world’s knowledge in order to make life easier for mankind, go for engineering.” Some students asked about which engineering field would be best for their interests, and Mr. Boydon explained the differences between the different engineering fields.
The crowd of high schoolers met UP Diliman Class of 2017’s batch valedictorian Williard Joshua Jose with giddy awe and applause. Mr. Jose’s talk on technology as a career path began with an anecdote on the models of cellphones he has ever owned. He spoke mostly about his experiences as a student, and now as he works with a telecommunications company. The audience asked a lot about Mr. Jose’s successful academic track and how they can take similar steps towards this. Mr. Jose urged the students to explore their many skills as they pursue their education, and to be diligent in studying.
As the last speaker, Dr. Belina Cuevas of the UP Diliman Office of Counseling and Guidance gave the students simple steps and factors to consider when selecting a course or specialization track. Dr. Cuevas spoke of factors like personal skill, interest, financial capacity, and availability of the courses desired. In the forum, students brought up some of their problems in facing this decision. One student shared that her parents already selected a college course for her. Dr. Cuevas assured the students that their parents will be supportive of their decisions, and encouraged them to take tracks in line with what is best for them.
Career orientations are so valuable to the decisions to be made by these young students. Hopefully, UP KEM left the New Era Public High School with the hearts of the students magnetized like compass needles; slowing the nervous spinning and set pointing toward a better course.
The Compass team gathered together to celebrate the successful 2nd installment of Compass.