/ 3 September 2020

DEMAND for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related occupation is among the highest and best paid these days. This opportunity, however, is not readily available to students from low-income families due to lack of educational resources, thus, hampering a child’s exposure to and early proficiency in technology.

Given the circumstances, Globe Telecom and Mano Amiga, a school that provides affordable, high-quality K-12 education to disadvantaged learners, have joined hands in developing the ‘Globe Maker Lab and Innovation Hub,’ a program designed to enhance the delivery of world class STEM education to underprivileged K-to-12 students.

“Globe’s vision is to strengthen students’ knowledge and skills in STEM, to help nurture innovation and equip the nation with the workforce of the future.  With the help of our key partners like Mano Amiga, we are able to develop their STEM track with relevant tools and content,” said Yoly Crisanto, Globe Chief Sustainability Officer and SVP for Corporate Communications.

“The idea is that from an early age, the students will not only become more interested in STEM related careers, but will be able to see how these jobs can help the community,” she explained.

Lynn Pinugu, Executive Director, Mano Amiga Philippines, said:  “Students need a strong foundation in STEM subjects in order to thrive and be successful in the innovation-driven age. We are excited to partner with Globe in enhancing hands-on STEM education in the country to make it more accessible for the disadvantaged communities and help ensure that children from all socio-economic backgrounds would have the opportunity to find their passion and excel in STEM.”

For formal education, the program adopts Project-based Learning approach where students from as early as Kindergarten, undertake projects based on real-world context and problems, and implement their solutions beyond the classroom.  Thus, they would learn that what they do in the  classroom can make a positive impact in the world at large.

Apart from learning the fundamentals, there will be challenges and exercises that will allow students to practice grit and perseverance through constant trial and error in order to eventually master the subjects. While there is still a pandemic, learning modules will be delivered via scheduled Zoom sessions and participants will be provided with tasks and worksheets that they are to accomplish in between Zoom calls.

Globe and Mano Amiga also prepared what they called ‘after school programs’ to provide students an opportunity to continue learning a variety of skills in a less formal environment and without being restricted by the pressure of getting high grades.