DOST-SEI researchers find new insights in tech-driven science, math education

Researchers from the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) recently unveiled new insights and recommendations into teaching science and mathematics in technology-enhanced classrooms.

Previous research has shown that computers, tablets, mobile phones, and other information and communications technology (ICT) can be more seamlessly integrated into classrooms by building up three key elements: teaching attitudes, or “will”; teaching ability, or “skill”; and access to ICT, or simply called “tool”. This Will-Skill-Tool (WST) model of technology integration in the classroom has proven useful for understanding how technology can better be used to complement and improve traditional blackboard and pen-and-paper teaching methods.

However, while studies on WST in general have yielded positive results and recommendations, little research has been done into how WST can be used specifically to improve the teaching of science and mathematics. This is an urgent concern, given the importance of these subjects to nation building and the country’s lack of development in these fields: according to the 2019 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), the Philippines placed last behind 57 other countries in terms of scientific and mathematical competence among grade-schoolers.

“While past studies on the WST model focused on general effects of will, skill, and tool on ICT integration into teaching of a single subject area or general teaching level, [the DOST-SEI study] provided differential analysis of these predictors between two subject teaching areas (i.e., science and mathematics),” the authors wrote in their paper.

The researchers noted that “Will” is a more important factor for science teachers, whereas “Skill” is more important for mathematics teachers when it comes to integrating ICT into the classroom. They recommended that science teachers develop first positive attitude toward ICT as a foundation for their teaching skills, whereas mathematics teachers need more specific ICT skills training due to the technical nature of their work.

“Among science teachers, the importance of ICT integration in teaching should be highlighted first to increase their level of attitude toward ICT prior to skills development,” the researchers said. “On the other hand, ICT knowledge and skills should be a primary focus in providing teacher training programs for mathematics teachers who may have technical requirement to facilitate integration of ICT in teaching the subject.”

The study entitled, “Will–skill–tool (WST) model of technology integration in teaching science and mathematics in the Philippines,” was published on March 9, 2021, in the Journal of Computers in Education. It was written by Randolf S. Sasota, Ruby R. Cristobal, Imelda S. Sario, and Josette T. Biyo of the DOST-SEI; with Joselito C. Magadia of the School of Statistics, University of the Philippines – Diliman. Biyo is the Director of the DOST-SEI, while Cristobal is chief of the DOST-SEI’s Science Technology Manpower Education Research Promotion Division (STMERPD). Sario and Sasota are Supervising Science Research Specialist and Senior Science Research Specialist, respectively, under the STMERPD. (30) 


DOST shows off livelihood technologies
in ‘TeknoLokal para sa Makabagong Bayani’ pitching sessions

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, La Union – The Department of Science and Technology Regional Office I (DOST-I) spearheaded a 3-day virtual technology pitching session of locally-developed technologies from the DOST-Planning Sectoral Councils and Research and Development Institutes (RDIs) that was held recently via the virtual platform Microsoft Teams.
Dubbed as “TeknoLokal para Makabagong Bayani”, the technology pitching sessions aim to spark the interest of applicant-Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to adopt DOST-developed technologies that will be funded under the Innovations for Filipinos Working Distantly from the Philippines (iFWD PH) Program.
The TeknoLokal series was conducted in anticipation of the Program’s Phase 1 that focuses on Capacity Building and Core Business Development sessions slated this
June. The OFWs will be attending virtual lectures that will capacitate them to conceptualize their technology-based business proposals.
The first session of the TeknoLokal held last 11 May 2021 showcased the food technologies of the DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI). Lea B. Landicho, Science Research Analyst of the said Institute, presented the mandates of DOST-FNRI and its laboratory services, and technologies that can be transferred and commercialized. Among the technologies offered for commercialization were the following: Iron-Rice Premix and Iron Fortified Rice; Tubig-Talino (Iodine-rich drinking water); Stabilized Brown Rice; rice-mongo products; and squash-supplemented products. Landicho also explained the Institute’s protocol on the transfer of these food technologies.
Meanwhile, Dr. Lorelle A. Baracol, Supervising Science Research Specialist of the DOST-Industrial Technology and Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) discussed the technologies and innovations developed by the agency. In Dr. Baracol’s presentation, the technologies were classified into three (3) categories, as follows: a) Pre-Commercialization innovations which are transferred to the adopter through a conditional licensing support. Adoption of pre-commercialized technologies have to go with the condition that tech adopters who intend to increase their output within the level considered as commercial scale will have to re-negotiate with the Institute for its Technology Licensing Agreement which shall require assessment from the DOST’s Fairness Opinion Board (FOB); b) Extension which consists of trainings, seminars and technical services provided by the DOST-ITDI; and c) Public Goods that are for free distribution to the public such as webinars on food processing, waste management, nutraceuticals, and metrology.
The second episode of the tech pitching session covered the innovative technologies of the DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) and the DOST-Forest Products Research Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI).
Lucy A. Lastimosa, Senior Science Research Specialist under the Technology Transfer and Promotion Division and the Assistant Center Manager for Innovation and Technology Center of the DOST-PCAARRD served as the resource speaker. Prior to her discussion on the several agricultural technologies, Lastimosa tackled the “From Lab to Market” flowchart pertinent to the Council’s research and development undertakings. The flowchart depicts how the DOST-PCAARRD brings their research outputs to their beneficiaries. In addition, Lastimosa elaborated the DOST-PCAARRD’s Technology Transfer Pathways – the Deployment which is focused on the distribution and application of specific technologies to strategic geographic areas and appropriate institutional settings; the Extension or the transfer of knowledge-based tools and cultural management; and the Commercialization that involves the provision of assistance to researchers and matching private sector interest with technology owners/investors.
Moreover, the DOST-PCAARRD’s technologies that complement various agricultural activities include farm machineries such as the following: Rice Harvester Attachment which is used for efficient rice harvesting; Ride-On Rice Precision Seeder suitable for both hybrid and inbred rice production; Coffee Greenhouse Solar Dryer that intends to provide alternative method for drying coffee beans instead of directly exposing them to sunlight; Mechanical Cacao Sheller which is an innovative machine that can process cocoa beans into cocoa nibs; Pelletizing Machine for Goat Feeds appropriate for on-farm pellet production; and Sea Cucumber Dryer designed for small-scale fisherfolks involved in the harvesting of sea cucumbers, to name a few. Aside from the farm machineries, Lastimosa also presented the different types of biofertilizers, biopesticides, and food technologies that are also available for commercialization.
Jovito A. Elec, Science Research Specialist II from the DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI), discussed wood processing and furniture trends. Elec gave an overview of the basic wood processing techniques that starts with the harvesting of the wood from plantations, lumber conversion through sawmilling, drying/seasoning which involves the removal or reduction of wood water content, and machining where the lumber will be processed either by cutting, planing, boring, mortising or combinations of operations into desired shapes and sizes. Elec also discussed the techniques in processing quality wood furniture.
To complete the discussions on furniture, Ivan Limjoco, an Industrial Designer of the DOST-FPRDI, presented the creative component and key furniture trends for 2021 that included the following: a) Sustainable Credentials which are described as ethical and environmentally friendly and are generated through the use of production offcutsb) Reinvented Home Office designs that are considered as flexi-furniture that can be both functional and decorative and are suitable for work-from-home set-up; c) Homely Comfort which is characterized by designs that offer safety and convenience; d) Reassuringly Simple trends that are crafted with minimalist approach; e) Elevated Craft or products which entails the use of weaving designs and basketry techniques applied to contemporary items made of rattan and cane; and f) Retro Nostalgia that are inspired from retrospective designs.
In the last leg of the TeknoLokal virtual series, the OFW-attendees learned the more innovative technologies from the DOST-Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) and the DOST-Philippines Textile Research Institute (PTRI). Engr. Mervin A. Gorospe tackled the innovations that could help enhance processes in ceramics production and the tent system that could be used for emergency situations. Engr. Gorospe also introduced the Integrated Wrought Iron-Forming Equipment (iWIFE) which can be an advantage for metal fabricators particularly in the twisting, rolling, bending, and curling jobs for metal works. Conversely, Engr. Rey N. Mariposque talked about the machineries vital to the food and beverage processing industry.
Finally, Evangeline Flor P. Manalang, Supervising Science Research Specialist of the DOST-Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), pitched the Institute’s innovations apt for textile manufacturing. In her discussion, Manalang elaborated on the textile technology-based business opportunities that OFWs may adopt in their business ventures under the iFWD PH Program.
The iFWD PH Program is an initiative of the DOST to help repatriated OFWs establish their own technology-based enterprises in the hope of encouraging them to settle in the Philippines for good, and in response to the increasing number of OFWs returning to the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For OFWs interested to participate in this program, they can still submit their application through the iFWD Ph portal: or send their requirements to the DOST-I office or to the nearest DOST-Provincial Science and Technology Center in their area. (by Katrina F. Ronquillo, Project Assistant II, DOST I – RPMO)


Eating Out-of-Home in the Time of COVID-19

Around 4 out of 10 Filipino adults 19 to 59 years old are out-of-home eaters.

This is according to the food consumption component of the 8th National Nutrition Survey (NNS) in 2013 by the Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI).

Additional data from the DOST-FNRI Food Establishments Survey (FES), a component of the Local Level Food, Health and Nutrition Survey (LFHNS) conducted from 2016 to 2017, also revealed that majority of these adults were younger adults 19 to 29 years old who mostly belong to the workforce.

In mid-March of 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte imposed an Enhanced Community Quarantine over the entire Luzon, including the National Capital Region (NCR), leaving most employees with no other choice but to work from home.

The Telegraph (UK) even dubbed the Philippines as the country with the longest lockdown, as restrictions are enforced until now.

Prolonged challenges and risks linked to COVID-19 has been causing pandemic fatigue for many people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Indeed, eating out-of-home has affected not only those who are fond of going out, but also business establishments.

Today, only partial lockdowns based on the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) are implemented across the country.

As previous stringent restrictions are gradually eased, the number of people who are eating out-of-home to beat the pandemic fatigue is dramatically increasing.

However, with the rise in the number of individuals eating out-of-home, there is also a possibility for COVID-19 cases to increase.

Thus, minimum public health standards and protocols should still be observed when going outside of our homes.

The latest IATF guidelines released in December 2020 stated that: ”…dine-in restaurants, fast food and food retail establishments, including those in supermarkets, grocery stores, and food preparation establishments should only be at a maximum of fifty percent (50%) seating capacity”.

Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States suggests the adoption of appropriate ventilation systems for establishments to avoid airborne transmission of COVID-19.

Moreover, there should be single entry and exit points to avoid crowding, as well as physical barriers for individuals to remain at least six feet apart.

It is also advised to clean and disinfect surfaces, use disposable utensils, and provide physical barriers between seats, along with designated washing areas.

Although establishments follow the recommended measures, it is still important for all to observe proper wearing of face mask and face shield, as well as frequent hand washing and disinfection to avoid the further spread of COVID-19.

Aside from the recommended health measures, the DOST-FNRI also encourages to follow the Pinggang Pinoy® an easy-to-understand visual tool to help Filipinos adopt healthy eating habits at meal times especially in the time of COVID-19.■