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About the Exhibit Wing

Exploring the different facets of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the STEM11 exhibit wing gives a brief glimpse into the minds of blossoming students, and the next generation of STEM.

“Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.”

Carl Sagan

Perspectives from the Stem 11 Classroom

Homeostasis by Louis Gascon

Dr. John Campbell (2013) defines homeostasis as: “Homeostasis describes the many mechanisms in the body that keep the environment in the body just right.” Homeostasis means that our body needs to be at the “Goldilocks zone”, not too hot/cold, too wet/dry, too acidic/alkaline. 

Campbell (2013) further states that homeostasis means: Homeo – same; Stasis – standing still. Interestingly, he mentioned that there is a “Dynamic equilibrium” occurring, which is directly opposite to the concept of homeostasis, which is to stay still. With that, I can conclude that homeostasis is the mixture of static and dynamic actions in our body to continuously equalize the cells that require such reaction. Campbell (2013) also mentions that there are four systems: Disruptor, Detector, Control system, and Effectors. Based on the example he gave with regards to disruptor being “thirsty so you end up dehydrated”, I realized that the detector’s task is to let the body know that “we need water”, so the control system then tells our brain to drink water and with that, the effector/effect is we now feel hydrated. Vice versa to this would be, the disruptor being “over drinking water” so the detector lets the body know that it needs to offload the water in some manner, then the control system will tell the brain to urinate with the effector/effect of releasing excess liquid. The process by which our body maintains homeostasis is very important and interesting, in Campbell’s (2013) example, an individual body cell contains substance A that will be converted to substance B, but for this biochemical reaction to start, it requires an enzyme (protein), but an enzyme requires the pH level to be balanced/regulated and to also have the right temperature (not too hot/cold). But as stated in the video, if the pH level and temperature change, the enzyme also changes in nature, and with this enzyme being unstable, it is no longer able to do its biochemical function, and with the conversion of substance A to B halted, physiology also stops. And if physiology stops, as Campbell (2013) stated: “if we haven’t got the physiology, that means we no longer have life.” But it does not stop there, as a cell contains a mitochondria that generate energy, and with that, it also has its own requirements for it to function properly. Glucose is needed for the mitochondria to function, but glucose needs to be combined with oxygen and other nutrients such as amino acids, fats, vitamins, and minerals. With oxygen, our body needs a blood supply in the form of red blood cells, which also have to be balanced since too much blood will make it viscous and too little will make it anemic.

 Endocrine hormones are also needed to control most of the cellular activity, and these hormones have to be homeostatic as well to be in perfect functioning order. And plenty more requirements such as water and electrolytes that need to be balanced because too much water will “blow up” the cell and too little will force the body to siphon water out of the cell, therefore “killing” the cell in the process. And waste products such as carbon dioxide and nitrogenous waste (ammonia) are very toxic, and that our body needs to get rid of.

To conclude, homeostasis is important to human life because it makes sure that our body is able to function on its own systems and with balanced requirements, making sure that our body only uses what it needs and avoids overproducing/receiving certain biochemical products to balance our physiological needs.

The Effects of the Twin Disasters in the Philippines: Coronavirus & Typhoon Odette by Louis Gascon

With the first month of 2022 nearing its end, the Filipino people cannot help but not forget the disasters that the previous years have left. At the end of 2019, the coronavirus was first reported, but it infected its first Filipino in the year 2020. With the rise of new variants, the Filipino people thought that would be the most difficult time that they would experience. Sadly, nearing the end of 2021, typhoon Odette struck the Islands of the Philippines which devastated an already suffering community because of the existing pandemic. With the first month of 2022 about to end, how do the coronavirus and typhoon Odette affect the future of the Filipino People?

Coronavirus has devastated the social and economic life of the Filipino people. As the virus continued to spread and evolve, the people had to adapt to the growing problems it has produced. From the perspective of the learning population (i.e. students), the change from face-to-face to the homeschool/online-based has truly impacted the quality and experience of learning. Fallesen (2021), said that with regards to the working population: “COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on rural livelihoods. Loss of income and job opportunities were overarching challenges in poor communities in the Philippines.” This exemplifies the scope at which the virus has affected multiple sectors of society. Not to be forgotten, the youth, elderly, and susceptible people were also affected by the pandemic for they are the most vulnerable when it comes to the said virus. With the continuous release of new cases and variants that are more contagious, people are forced to be more careful than ever. As a nation of mostly Catholic, the reliance on faith is stronger than ever, people are attending online masses and praying for one another, this definitely strengthened the sacramental bond of the people. Unfortunately, as Canete (2021) has mentioned, the expression of faith may also be a “superspreader”.

As the year of 2021 was about to end, a new disaster struck the Filipino people, and that was typhoon Odette. With the nonstop cases of the coronavirus, no one really hoped for another disaster to come in and cause more problems. But before this, typhoon Ambo (which hit the Philippines in 2020) was also a disaster that according to Lucero-Prisno, et al (2020): “It placed the health system of the Philippines into a test as a perfect storm–developed a strong typhoon during a devastating pandemic.” The same could be said to typhoon Odette, as it happened to an already extremely suffering community because of the pandemic. This further slowed down the recovery of the Filipino economy as aside from already losing their job, the infrastructure that some of them worked in were also destroyed or critically damaged. Because of this, the hope of the people was shattered, imagine waiting for Christmas just to be hit with a destructive typhoon that essentially hindered the recovery of the affected communities.

But all hope is not lost, as stated before, this is only the first month of 2022. In the Filipino culture “Bayanihan” which according to Project Bayanihan (n.d.) literally means: “being a bayan.” The Filipino people always do their best to support one another in a multitude of ways, from providing relief goods, to monetary donations, and even community prayers. The people will continue to move forward despite the setbacks that these twin disasters have left. What the people hope though is that the pandemic shall end and that they are able to return to their normal lives and not live in the “new normal”.

An Analysis on Technology and its Effects on the Educational Sector by Trisha Nicole Hernandez

Just like everything present in the world that has positive and negative effects, technology is one of them. However, the way humans choose to use it is important because it affects the results it would bring. Living in the 21st century gives people opportunities to be able to exist with various gadgets and with every passing day, humans are able to create newer and better software than the last. There is no doubt that technology has many uses and it is observed that it has been increasingly growing in the education sector. A survey from the University of Phoenix College of Education shows that daily classroom technology rises to 55% and 86% of teachers show that they use laptops the most during lessons (Cortez, 2017). Although, there have been many arguments on the effectiveness of e-learning and how it affects the performance of students. Technology in education is a double-edged sword because it helps students by providing easy-to-access information, opens more learning opportunities, and gives newer tools for teaching but it could also give a negative impact such as a number of distractions, cyberbullying, and cheating. With this, we can say that the use of technology in our everyday lives can be a useful assistant but it can also be a dangerous master (Lange, 1921). 

On one side, technology is seen as having a positive effect on education. With the internet being accessible to many people around the world, it also gives way to faster access to data and information. Students can easily find various sources which deepen their curiosity to learn beyond the curriculum, causing them to have a deeper knowledge about the said topic. Furthermore, students make use of computers to create presentations which spark their creativity and the internet makes creating essays or research papers quicker since there is an abundance of references to which they can refer to. The use of technology in the classroom can be very useful in helping students understand the lesson and allow them to absorb information better. 65% of the general

population are visual learners which are students that need to see what is being taught. Most of the time, they struggle with following oral lectures however they can readily recall lessons that they have read or seen (Bradford, 2011). With this in mind, instructors could provide presentations that show videos and images alongside oral teaching because not all students can retain information by simply sitting down and listening to the lecture. Additionally, newer technology gives way to advanced gadgets such as tablets, projectors, digital textbooks, and many more which could pique the interest of younger students and encourage them to see school as a fun and exciting learning environment rather than a place that gives boring and repetitive school works. Social media apps are also useful for communication among peers and can also be used to reach out to teachers for help or clarification outside the classroom. These gadgets could be used effectively by making quizzes into educational games, having movies or videos which relate to the lessons, and books that are interactive. 

On the other hand, technology is seen as having a negative effect on the learning process of young kids and teens. The biggest reason is that it could create distractions such as online games, social media, and other sources of entertainment like Youtube and TikTok. Because of these, learners end up spending hours using their phones or laptops on other things than studying or doing homework. Most students even stay up late watching or playing which causes them to feel tired and unfocused during lessons in the day. This could also affect their health because of insufficient sleep and rest which is essential to the growth and development of young kids. Moreover, the mental health of adolescents can be harmed by social media due to cyberbullying which severely affects students in their school life. With these online apps, it is easy to hide their identity by remaining anonymous while discriminating against others and it is often difficult for the school or the guardians to find out who is doing these acts. Easy access to information can also be bad when it is used irresponsibly. This leads to cheating and this does not ensure that the student is learning since they will just rely on finding answers from websites. It can also cause laziness when they will just choose to plagiarize essays or other school projects. As a result, students who do these things repeatedly will never

learn to work for something on their own and it hinders them from obtaining useful information which could help them in the future. 

In the end, technology in the education system is something that must be used responsibly for it to work effectively and efficiently. It is undeniable that using gadgets within the classroom can greatly help in improving student learning since it allows information and resources to be accessible, creates an enthusiastic learning environment, and provides different opportunities for students to obtain knowledge. However, Teachers and guardians must be able to guide their students to establish healthy habits with the internet to avoid the harmful effects of technology such as being absent-minded, online bullying, and cheating. In return, students must also learn how to appreciate the advancements in our world by instilling discipline in themselves to show their willingness to learn new things every day. Recalling the quote said by Christian Lous Lange, it is true that technology is a powerful servant that can assist us throughout our learning process however, it will only become a dangerous ruler when we allow it to be slaves of our time and focus.

Skip Telling Our Kids to Dream High By Louis Gascon

After reading the specific text I chose (which was “Skip telling our kids to dream high”), I realized that the Filipino parenting culture does focus on “higher dreams” rather than “deeper dreams”. This made me ask myself, are my parents unique in that they told me to dream deep rather than high? While I am fortunate enough to have freedom of choice, do your parents also allow you to choose your path? And is your dream, actually your dream? These are just some questions that struck me initially when I read the text provided. 

An article was written by Daryl Pasion, who is a UPLB teacher and a graduate student of linguistics in UP Diliman; shares his realization regarding the Filipino parents’ culture of telling their children to dream high. In his article he provided an example of a Filipino father bragging about his child: “Mataas ang pangarap ng batang ‘yan! (He’s aiming high!)”, and “Pangarap niyan maging doktor (o abogado). (He wants to become a doctor [or a lawyer])”. Followed by this example, he [Daryl Pasion] then shared a what if scenario which revolves around changing the idea of “dreaming high” to “dreaming deep”. He then continued with: “In our culture, dreams or “pangarap” are expressed in height, not depth”, which further exemplifies the need for parents to allow their children to focus more on deeper dreams, dreams with longevity and substance rather than dreams that simply feel like temporary achievements. 

The article is also easily readable because it uses a mixture of languages (English and Tagalog) that further enhanced and allowed the writer to use statements/phrases that would help him convey his feelings. He also provided concise and logical opinions that made the article easier to digest because it does not contain any “big words” that would otherwise put off some readers.

Based on the article, the parents are the primary target audience, while secondary to this are the children. The article helps parents understand that what they might be suggesting to their children, in terms of dreaming high instead of deep, might actually be the wrong way of supporting them. Then again, his article simply states his observations regarding the idea of dreaming deep instead of dreaming high. To expound on his thought process, he is focusing on the idea that a deeper dream has a bigger impact on a child’s growth because this exemplifies the idea of having deeper thoughts. As stated by the writer in the article: “We describe our thoughtful friends, those with strong emotions or advocacies as “malalalim na tao (deep people)”. He supports this idea as he believes that a child’s perception changes based on how he or she dreams. 

With regards to the parents’ position on the article, there are parents who are able to use this article as a learning and reflection tool, on the other hand, there are also parents who are likely to dismiss or consider the article unrelatable at all. If he [Daryl Pasion] was able to add more information that is based on studies and also a parent’s perspective, it would have provided more support for his take. Personally, the article would not be widely accepted by all parents as some of his [Daryl Pasion] take is contrary to their [parents] personal beliefs and methods of parenting. Most of the issue boils down to how the parents take his article and how they would apply it to their pre-existing methods. 

As a reader, all sorts of realizations came to mind because of the article with regards to how I was raised and how I am actually a deep dreamer. I remember that my parents always instilled in me the idea of having dreams that have meaning rather than instant gratification. This idea of becoming a deep dreamer also helped me become more empathetic towards my peers; at a young age I was already taught how to think of others, and not only focus on how I would feel, and see the bigger picture rather than what is only in front. With this in mind, I realized that my parents have always been looking out for me despite all the hardships we’ve experienced as a family.

“The important thing is to never stop questioning.”

Albert Einstein

The Heart of Stem 11

How to Cope with Stress During the Pandemic

How Do We Live with the Endemic Coronavirus?

DNA Isolation From Cheek Cells: A Video Analysis

“Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.”

Robert A. Heinlein

Final Class Production

“Alone, we can do so little.

Together, we can do so much.”

Hellen Keller