Science comes from the Latin word scientia meaning “knowledge”. It is an accumulated and systematized body of learning that explains, interprets, and understands our day to day experience in the natural world. Hep hep hep. Don’t leave this page yet. I won’t be lecturing about science now. I am just recalling a few of my lines every first day of school for my science classes.
When I was younger, I was never into science. I regarded those people who love science as nerds! Science never interested me and I was just obliged into studying it for my engineering course. And since I had majored in this area, all science subjects were given to me.
In my first year at Chinese School (MUHS), I found the students very eager and keen for science. Some were even more knowledgeable than I was especially in the field of astronomy. “The heck with outer space! Why study aliens that there are real people all around me?!” That was my opinion. But I didn’t have a choice so I just carried on with my science teaching career.
Despite the students’ “greater knowledge than I had” as I thought, there was still this longing in their hearts for laboratory activities. They wanted to experiment, test, see, and prove to themselves what were written on books and showed in the internet about science. Their eyes were hungry for something real and tangible. As they said, “To see is to believe.” And to ease some of that hunger, I made little efforts to let them experience science in my own little way.
To start with, I dropped sodium metal into water. It produced flame and the water became hot when the whole sodium dissolved. I dropped zinc metal into concentrated hydrochloric acid. It abruptly sizzled as it dissolved and fizz appeared with an evolution of gas. I put a drop of phenolphthalein in a beaker and I said that this clear liquid (sodium hydroxide) will turn pink as I transferred it to the beaker. And then it did happen!
All of the aforementioned acts were just so simple for me but for the kids, they were amazing and magical! Sodium is a very reactive metal that when exposed to moisture it reacts vigorously. Hydrochloric acid is very corrosive that any metal in contact with it would oxidize. And of course, phenolphthalein is an acid-base indicator that turns pink in basic medium. I then corrected them that there was no magic because in science, everything got its explanation.
Then the kids requested me to hold a Science Fair. I instantly said no and honestly told them that I didn’t know how to for I myself had never been to a Science Fair my whole life! They were disheartened but they could do nothing about it. So they just accepted it and I felt so sorry for them and to myself. I failed as a teacher.
The following year, the students were still insisting for a Science Fair. On the other hand, some teachers encouraged me to do it. They said that they will support me all the way. One was Ms. Aidalyn “Ate Aid’s” Alcopra. She was the High School Department Coordinator. She told me that we can do it. She then suggested a Scientist-Look-Alike Contest. Mr. Quirino “Rene” Lonsagon, the High School English Teacher also promised that he will help for he loved science so much. His favorite subject was science and he was also more knowledgeable with some science activities than I did. Lastly, Yieldeza “Yeye” Ebale, the elementary science teacher got excited with the Science Fair idea too. She was a Social Studies major but teaching science interested her a lot that she was always enthusiastic to learn more about it.
In addition, Mrs. Jacelly Lim, the new Math, Science, and English Coordinator came into the scene. She was an experienced teacher from Oro Christian Grace School of Cagayan de Oro City who volunteered to help Chinese School. She said that having a Science Fair is such a big event for first-timers like me and Yeye. So she suggested that we’re gonna have a Science Week instead. She urged me to list some fun activities to conduct during science classes. After some planning with Yeye, Ma’am Jacelly approved the activities and added some tips on how to administer them.
Day 1 – Popular “Pop” Science Showcase
Venue – Pula-Puti (school’s lobby)
This day marked the beginning of the Science Week. Hannie Louise Lim opened the festivities by welcoming our guests who were some vacant teachers and grades 1 and 3 pupils. The third year students, who were the first presentors for the day showcased rubber egg, fireworks in glass, magic colored milk, etc. The kids enjoyed watching the show especially when Carmel Theresa Lim demonstrated her Putt Putt Boat.Everybody was astonished as the boat powered by a lighted candle sailed in the water. Her booth became the most crowded one thus she won first prize for the third year pop science category.
Pop Science Demo
Crowding Carmel’s Boat
Day 2 – supposedly Film Viewing and Reaction Paper Writing but November 16, 2010 was declared as a National Muslim Holiday
Venue – supposedly at the Audio-Visual Room
Day 3 – Quiz Bee Elimination Round
Venue – Classrooms
Three Science Club officers for each class were assigned as quiz master, time keeper, and scorer. I just acted as an overseer for this activity. The most memorable and most hilarious quiz bee was with the second year students. Raphael Vincent Loreto just answered “Do Not Answer” for the meaning of DNA while Michael Uy translated parasite as “Sa layo pa matan-awan” (far-a-sight). We all had stomach-aching laughs! Thinking about it now paints a smile on my face. 🙂
My Humorous Second Year Students
Day 4 – Poster-Making Contest
Venue – Classrooms and Pula-Puti
With the theme Exploring the World as Young Scientists, the students were grouped by three’s to draw or paint their interpretation of it. I was surprised by their interpretations for I hadn’t thought of them as I got the theme from the National Science Month Celebration of that year. They were all smart kids for they visualized something that I didn’t see. Their explanations of the theme through their posters were indeed a great hit that our Assistant Principal, Dr. Zhou Jing and Academic Head, Mr. Leon Wen appreciated them a lot!
Day 5 – Culmination Program
Venue – Gym
As a finale to the festivities, we had the Quiz Bee Championship, Kalikasan Sayawit (song and dance about nature) Contest, Scientist-Look-Alike Contest, and Awarding Ceremony. The highlights of the show were Kyle Christian Ong and company’s “wormology” answer for the study of worms during the Quiz Bee, the fourth year students’ all-outfitness for “Like a Scientist” (to the tune of Far East Movement’s Like A G6 composed by Al-Qader Lim) entry for Sayawit, and Anne Loveen Simbajon’s cute portrayal as Marie Curie.
Though we had plenty of flaws during the short program, it was good enough for us. It was our first time to hold a Science Week. Thanks to all teachers because everybody lent helping hands for both Yeye and I. Special thanks to Xianse Jennifer Salud for she supported us with the financial budget and in preparing the medals and certificates. Special thanks also to her sister, Xianse Brenda Salud for managing the sound and lighting system. Moreover, thanks to Nong Siano and Nang Angging for hauling tables, chairs, and white boards. They were such great floor managers!
Without our teamwork, Science Week would have not materialized. All activities were because of the kids, by the kids, and for the kids. It was a tremendous success for the whole school. And as for me as a faux science teacher, it was a great achievement!Nothing is impossible if you just have a willing heart. Thus, I became one of the nerds who learned to love science as my model students had. And this post is for them, my Besties in Science:
School Year 2009-2010
First Year – Hannah Joy Lim
Second Year – Carmel Theresa Lim
Third Year – John Matthew Lim
Fourth Year – Stefanie Chan
School Year 2010-2011
First Year – Rizalde Matthew Lim
Second Year – Darylle Jade Cabataña
Third Year – Carmel Theresa Lim
Fourth Year – John Matthew Lim
Elementary Kids Got Also Competitive