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Outstanding young Filipino scientists meet with MHSS students; discuss about vast opportunities in S&T fields

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dr. Alonzo A. Gabriel, associate professor and Scientist 1, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, U.P. Diliman, discusses vast career opportunities in the field of Physics.

Three of the country's outstanding young scientists met with the students of the Malayan High School of Science (MHSS) to discuss the vast field of science and technology (S&T) and the numerous opportunities it could offer to science graduates. They said that there is significantly high demand for science graduates in various fields.

In a career orientation dubbed "Meet your Scientists" for its junior and senior students, MHSS and the National Academy of Science and Technology invited 2013 Outstanding Young Scientists (OYS) Dr. Raphael A. Guerrero (Physics) and Dr. Alonzo A. Gabriel (Food Microbiology and Hygiene) and 2009 OYS Dr. Melito A. Baccay (Civil Engineering) to entice young audience to pursue careers in S&T by sharing with them their experiences in the field.

Dr. Gabriel and Dr. Guerrero, who have been in the industry for more than 15 years, stressed that both physics and food science and technology hold the promise of a "bright and interesting" future. Fresh graduates of related courses may immediately work as researchers or laboratory aides.

Another option for them is to pursue advanced studies here or abroad, which may permit them to teach in the tertiary level locally. They added that various corporations and agencies give out scholarship grants as a response to the government's call for more support in the field.

"There are a lot of opportunities for the students graduating with a degree in science, especially now that the government is recognizing the importance of science and technology in national development," said Dr. Gabriel, who is also an associate professor at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

The young experts also emphasized that another fulfilling aspect of being a scientist is being able to contribute to the body of knowledge and steer the nation to progress.

"We need more experts to [become] a competitive nation, and we need science to [become] competent," told Dr. Guerrero.

Dr. Raphael A. Guerrero, associate professor, Department of Physics of Ateneo De Manila University, tells the students, "We need more experts to [become] a competitive nation, and we need science to [become] competent."

To inspire the students more, Engr. Baccay, a registered civil engineer and dean of College of Engineering of Technological University of the Philippines, shared his formula for success.

"It's not enough that you are smart and intelligent. To be successful, you also need to be hardworking and you should have the right attitude," he said.

Dr. Guerrero added: "Sometimes, to make and deliver real progress, it is also required to be in the field for an extended period of time. To remain motivated, always think about what you can contribute to the body of knowledge and to society."

A representative from the Department of Science and Technology–Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) also informed the students about the available scholarship grants. Under Executive Order 128, DOST-SEI has been tasked to "formulate plans and establish programs and projects for the promotion and development of S&T education," including scholarships and awards.

According to the Institute's representative Susana Esquivel, the executive order is in response to the country's need for more field experts. From academic year 1994–1995 to 2010–2011, the number of S&T students in the tertiary level remains to be low, as cited in Commission on Higher Education data.

Dr. Efren B. Mateo, principal of MHSS, said that MHSS hopes that through the orientation, students' motivation in pursuing careers in the field would increase, which is in line with the school's thrust to create more scientists.

"We believe that promoting our thrust of creating scientifically inclined students will bear long-term effects. We need S&T to propel the country to success and be progressive. More knowledge in S&T means more competent Filipinos," the principal said.

"It was very informative and helpful, especially now that I am about to graduate," said student Marian Quing of the event. For her, who aspires to become a doctor, the knowledge and experiences of the guest speakers had led her to a new understanding and appreciation for the different fields of science and technology.

"The invaluable things that the guest scientists have shared with us just proved how important science and technology is in our lives. It widens our knowledge of our world and the universe. It is basically our tool in improving our lives," said Quing.

Dr. Melito A. Baccay, associate professor, Department of Physics in Ateneo De Manila University, advises the students that "it's not enough that you are smart and intelligent. To be successful, you also need to be hardworking and you should have the right attitude."

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