From Duty to Wonder: Science Wonder Workshops in Mindanao! by Cara Evangelista

This year, the Mind Museum continued its mission to make science come alive to everyone by conducting Science Wonder Workshops for science teachers across the Philippines! We kicked things off in Mindanao by visiting science teachers from public schools in General Santos City last May and in Cagayan de Oro City last August.

With the support of Globe Telecom, Inc., this one-day workshop equipped the science teachers with new and engaging hands-on skills to teach science, inspiring them to look at science with a sense of wonder.

Beginning with a series of lectures and group activities, the workshop emphasized that science is not simply a subject in school, but an essential way of thinking and understanding the world. Science is wonderfully interconnected and relevant to everyday life.

The Mind Museum's curator, Maribel Garcia, opened the workshop with a thought-provoking talk.

It also sparked a discussion on how the teachers and their students viewed science, and allowed teachers to share some of the common challenges they encountered in teaching. 

For many participants, their favorite part of the day was the science show. We at The Mind Museum believe that experiments are an essential part of teaching science. They make learning science engaging and interactive, demonstrating science concepts in a memorable way.

The Mind Movers demonstrated some of these exciting experiments which can be done with readily available materials. Guides to all of these experiments can be found in the official The Mind Museum App, which you can download for free from Google Play or the App Store.

The teachers were up out of their seats, trying to get a better look at the fun science challenges and demonstrations.

To help the teachers perform these effectively, they also had a mini-theater workshop. They learned that teaching science is a performance - voice projection, subtext, and nonverbal communication enhance the teaching and learning experience. Using the techniques of a good storyteller, a teacher can make their lesson memorable and increase interest in the subject. 

It was then their turn to do some hands-on experiments, applying everything they had learned throughout the day. The teachers were put into groups and challenged to perform one experiment and explain it in a fun and interactive way. Although they had less than an hour to practice and prepare, the teachers delivered.

A teacher performed the "Burn Your Money" experiment (left); Teachers acting out the process of photosynthesis (top right); One group's performance incorporating the "disappearing act" when Betadine and vitamin C are mixed together (bottom right).

Some groups explained the experiment by acting out the molecules, or using a song and dance. They came up with creative performances and narratives for their demonstrations. And at the end of the day, the teachers told us that they felt more confident to present and teach science, and that they were energized for the school year ahead. 

High school teacher Geraldine Toledo thanked us, saying, "We really learned a lot...May you continue to extend help to science teachers like us so that we will become more knowledgeable and motivated to inspire students to love SCIENCE. You made us realize that SCIENCE IS COOL!"

After the success of our first two workshops, we are more excited than ever to continue working with teachers and help them in inspiring their students to wonder and understand science!

Congratulations to our Science Wonder Workshop participants! General Santos City (top), Cagayan de Oro City (bottom).

To learn more about The Mind Museum's educational programs as well as upcoming and regular activities, visit the museum's website, and follow the museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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