As a result of community quarantine guidelines that continue to restrict face-to-face interactions and mass gatherings, the education sector has adopted major changes in its overall system of education and learning delivery to the country’s millions of students under the “new normal.”

Seeing this as an opportunity rather than a liability, the DOST-Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII) shall hold a three-part webinar series to equip science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers with the knowledge, skills, and techniques for the latest learning modalities including the use of the Science and Technology Academic Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosks or STARBOOKS.

STARBOOKS, popularly referred to as the library-in-a-box, is an award-winning knowledge and learning resource of the Institute to provide students and teachers with greater access to the latest science, technology, and innovation (STI) information to supplement their textbooks and learning tools.

Of great help especially to those in marginal, remote communities, STARBOOKS contains STEM invaluable content for levels K-12, carrying thousands of information in text, video, and interactive formats, including livelihood videos for alternative learning systems.

The webinars are conducted as part of the yearlong celebration of STARBOOKS 9th anniversary in partnership with the Unilab Foundation through the Center for Integrated STEM Education, Inc. (CISTEM Inc.), a Unilab Foundation spin-off program that takes the lead in working and collaborating with the government and other agencies in delivering quality STEM education and linking it to STEM careers or the work of the future.

This collaboration is an opportune convergence between the two organizations toward a shared advocacy in promoting STI and STEM education, with CISTEM providing the services of the resource speakers for the webinars.

“The webinar series is only part of what we intend to do under the new normal to augment the educational needs of our students. STARBOOKS is a perfect tool that offers a myriad of information on science, technology, and innovation in support of the STEM curriculum. And what is good about STARBOOKS is that it can be accessed even offline,” said DOST-STII Director Richard P. Burgos.

The first of the 3-webinar series is titled “Reframing STEM Education for the New Normal slated on 29 July 2020 starting at 10:00am via Facebook Live at the DOST STARBOOKS official FB page. Featured lecturer is Sheryl Lyn C. Monterola, Ph.D., Professor III in the Science Education Area, Division of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, University of the Philippines Diliman and CISTEM Executive Director.

Next is the “Remote STEM Teaching for Diverse Learners: An Education Continuity How-to” scheduled on 12 August 2020 at 10:00am also via Facebook Live at the DOST STARBOOKS official FB page. Lecturer is Mr. Tristan C. Orbeta, M.A.Ed., Assistant Professor from Science Education Area College of Education, University of the Philippines Diliman.

Third is titled “Assessment at a Distance: Ensuring Learning from Afar” that will be livestreamed on 19 August 2020 at 10am via Facebook Live at the DOST STARBOOKS official FB page. The webinar will be facilitated by Melvin T. Magsayo, M.A.Ed., Science Teacher III, Senior High School Department (Academic – STEM Strand), Iligan City National High School and CISTEM Deputy Director.

Since its launch in 2011, STARBOOKS has been installed in 4,822 sites all over the country. To further bridge the gap in the access to STI information, the DOST-STII also launched recently the STARBOOKS mobile app; enabling users to be updated on the latest technologies and innovations developed by our Filipino scientists, researchers, and engineers.

For those interested in the STARBOOKS webinar series, you can get the details on how to participate by visiting (Rodolfo P. de Guzman/S&T Media Service)