As 10th-grade students prepare to enter senior high school, where they will choose their strand of study, mentors can act as navigators in propelling their passion forward. Through KoneKwentuhan Classroom Sessions, the Unilab Foundation gathered STEM professionals across different disciplines to share insights and guide the next generation of leaders and innovators.
The classroom sessions commenced at De La Salle Santiago Zobel, Muntinlupa, last February 10, 2023. Present were 270 students and 9 industry professionals from Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions, Digital Apeworks, Teach for the Philippines, SGV & Co., Nestle, Epimetrics Inc., Disease Molecular Biology & Epigenetics Laboratory, Canva Philippines, and Philippine Space Agency.
The activity, centered on discovery, raises the question: "Why take STEM?" For Mr. Juvhan Rebangcos, Data & Impact Assessment Associate of Teach for the Philippines, "STEM sets you up for a journey filled with opportunities on adding value to life." Correspondingly, Ms. Patty Almera, Corporate Management Trainee of Nestle, pointed out that STEM provides stable opportunities inside and outside the country.
Emphasizing a healthy mindset as necessary when taking the STEM track, the mentors encouraged students to explore industries through internship and training and partake in immersions to experience fieldwork. Ms. Jamaica N. Pangasinan, Senior Science Research Specialist Philippine Space Agency, underscored grit and resilience as essential traits.
The STEM professionals shared their struggles and triumphs, the scope of work, role models, and most importantly, the power of transforming lives through STEM. It piqued the interest of students. Hence, during the sessions, they asked about college, jobs, and real-life scenarios. They also wanted to know which skills are crucial, the best course to take, and advice on how to start a career in STEM.
Whether the learners want to pursue applied mathematics, physics, microbiology, space science, education technology, engineering, or public health, the sessions' goal was to appreciate the versatility of different STEM fields and understand the importance of STEM skills. Ultimately, the mentors encouraged the learners to sign-up for the STEMKonek Online Mentoring Platform to connect and interact with mentors like the ones they met during the discussions.
KoneKwentuhan is a program of STEMKonek open to aspiring mentors and mentees. To know more, visit https://stemkonek.ph/ and Konek na Tayo!