IN PAPERLESS, WIRELESS WORLD: Samsung partners with Pisay in producing future scientists

By Jason B. Neola GOA, Camarines Sur --- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) students at the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) here will be engaging state-of-the-art devices in their studies after Samsung Electronics Philippines Corporation launched its Smart Classroom program on November 9, this year. The program, which gave way to the installation of 30 Galaxy tablets and a unit of 1756.1 x 1034 x 74.1 mm IWB e-board almost as big as a standard classroom blackboard, aims to enhance the quality of education that the scholars are receiving. Founded in 1998 by RA 8619, the PSHS-Bicol Regional Campus was established because of Congressman Arnulfo Fuentebella’s proposal and whose vision of producing graduates who will excel in the field of science and technology is the same vision as Samsung’s. The school’s student base is one of the most expansive in the country among government science high schools. PSHS-BRC has 537 scholars this year. Glenn Paolo Morales, president of Supreme Student Government, assured Samsung Philippines that the facility will be in good hands as it will be used with utmost care as an effective tool in improving the competency of his fellow scholars in the field of science and technology. “This Smart Classroom will be of great help in enhancing our teachings methods as we address the varying needs of our technology-savvy students while helping us also to make learning more engaging, fun-filled, and enjoyable. We hope that through this program we could assist them in improving their academic performances and enthuse all of them to pursue science and technology careers,” says Fely Buera, chairperson of the school’s Curriculum Instruction Division. The P1.5-M facility, which includes a classroom where the ICT tools were installed, is Samsung’s 15th site in the entire country and the fourth product of collaboration between the ICT manufacturing company and the Philippine Science High School Foundation, Inc. Twyla David, Samsung’s head of corporate citizenship, said the array of devices is a tangible proof of her company’s desire to create a dynamic and interactive learning environment in public and rural high schools like the PSHS’s Bicol Region campus. “While the PSHS system is known for producing competent scientists, its Bicol campus boasts an impressive robotics and research program that has earned regional and international recognition. By way of our program, we can be of help in developing proficient STEM graduates who can contribute not only to the development of the Bicol Region but the whole country as well,” she says. Aside from providing access to information, the Galaxy tablets also expedite discussions particularly in methodology-based subjects like mathematics and programming as they can readily check the solution or answer for a given problem. The Samsung Smart Classroom setup also enables teachers to access their students’ work via wirelessly connected tablets. “Teachers can also highlight parts of a student’s solution or code, for instance, and flash it on the big LED screen set up in front of the students for the whole class to discuss. Questions can also be imputed on the devices for the teacher to facilitate and display on the board,” David explained. Campus Director Elsie Ferrer emphasized the importance of being a beneficiary of the program as it would help the school to produce more competent scientists and allow them to respond to the call of the local government units to create solutions centered on disaster management since Bicol Region is considered as hotbed for natural disasters like typhoons, earthquakes, floods, and volcanic eruptions. “We are grateful that Samsung continues to provide public secondary schools with a fully digital educational experience as this will help in upholding every beneficiary school’s track record of mentoring the next generation’s thinkers, scientists, and innovators. We do look forward to more partnerships with Samsung,” she said.