With the academe, government, private sector and community all involved, almost 52,000 public high school students and 1,781 of their teachers will be able to use 21st century learning tools as they study Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
The days of learning calculus and physics with Manila paper and chalk are over for these students. On September 25,2018 during an awarding ceremony held in the iconic Plaza Aurora in Laoag City, Caltex Fuel Your School (FYS) turned over P3 million worth of 21st century learning tools to the 30 highest-need public high schools in Ilocos and Cordillera regions.
From June 1 to July 31, 2018, the students and teachers worked the hardest in promoting Caltex FYS to people online and to their communities; they liked, shared and promoted the program. During this period, each fuel up was matched by Caltex and branded marketer, Northern Star, with a one-peso donation. Twenty-six Caltex stations in Ilocos and Cordilleras participated. The community promotions included flash mobs, motorcades, and flyering. By the end of July, the target of three million pesos in total donations was reached, enough to provide P100,000 worth of modern teaching and learning equipment to each of the 30 public high schools selected by the Department of Education (DepEd).
The students generated most of the buzz and this unique participative approach to social investment, where the recipients have high buy-in, enabled Caltex to run FYS in different locations in the country for the past four years, namely the National Capital Region, Davao, Bicol and, now, provinces in Northwestern Luzon. A total of P14 million pesos in STEM learning equipment was donated by Caltex which is currently helping 4,781 public high school teachers and 1.477 million students better teach and learn STEM, respectively.
STEM education is important in a country’s competitiveness. The Philippines needs more mathematicians, engineers, and scientists for its long-term growth prospects. With the new equipment provided by Caltex FYS, more students will find STEM interesting and pursue careers in STEM.
Northern Star Chief Operating Officer Juan Miguel Delgado said, “We are a company that values learning and quality education. As part of the downstream energy sector, we rely on a broad range of STEM professionals, from engineers to accountants to help grow our business. It was a good learning experience to help raise the quality of education of our nation’s future problem-solvers, innovators and inventors that also contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals target to build and upgrade education facilities wherein Northern Star proudly provides solutions. Moreover, our network of Caltex retailers readily provided assistance to the project to support the participating high schools in the areas where we operate.”
Northern Star and Caltex executives turned over laptops, multimedia projectors, calculators, digital microscopes, laboratory equipment and even robotics sets during the awarding event. In early May, Caltex and Northern Star invited public high school teachers to submit STEM projects. These teachers are from the 30 highest-need public high schools in the region selected by DepEd.
“It was inspiring to see the high interest in STEM among the teachers through the innovative projects that they submitted. This shows that our teachers do not lack the necessary skills or knowledge to bring the wonders of STEM to their students; however, due to the high cost of such specialized equipment, much effective demonstrations and characterizations are unmet. Caltex and Northern Star seek to fill this gap in resources for STEM education and bring greater STEM awareness among the public,” added Delgado.
One of the most active high schools that campaigned for Caltex FYS was Ilocos Norte Agricultural College (INAC) in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte. The online campaign, flash mobs, and flyering they did bore fruit when the school received their much need learning tools in August.
Teacher Hazel Bareng, INAC math adviser, said, “Caltex Fuel Your School is a big help not just to students but also to us teachers. By acquiring modern learning equipment, we can now provide every student a hands-on learning experience.”
Teacher Hazel’s students now have enough scientific calculators and a multimedia system to unlock the wonders of math. They can use the new 65inch LED TV, laptop and projector when tackling complex subject matters such as graphing and GeoGebra. Previously, the students had to huddle around and take turns using a single scientific calculator.
Northern Star leveraged its 26 Caltex stations in Ilocos and Cordillera regions and donated P1.5 million directly to Caltex FYS. All the selected 30 public high schools have already received their educational equipment. Some schools received their new equipment as early as August and are being put to good use by the students.
Keithlyn Manayan, grade 12 student of INAC, said,” With the new equipment, we are excited to go to classes and study STEM. We don’t have to waste time taking turns and the lessons have come to life with the videos explaining topics like GeoGebra. We are learning better and faster than we previously did with chalk and Manila paper. We are eager and confident to prove ourselves with the education that we are getting now.”
Special awards were given to top performing high schools which will receive additional laptops each. Narvacan National High School bagged the award for the school with the most post likes, La Union National High School gets the award with the most Caltex fans, and Abra National High School topped the school with the most fuel ups.
“Caltex Fuel Your School enables us to contribute in the development of the education sector by making modern learning equipment available to STEM students in Northern Luzon. We support the government’s vision of improving the country’s quality of education for us to produce more competitive leaders, particularly in the fields of STEM,” said Louie Zhang, country chairman of Chevron Philippines Inc.
Since its Philippine launch in 2015, Caltex FYS has funded almost 120 classroom projects at 118 public high schools in Manila, Davao, Bicol and Ilocos Region. Caltex Fuel Your School was recognized by different award-giving bodies such as the Silver and Gold Anvil Awards from Public Relations Society of the Philippines, a merit recognition from the coveted Quill Awards, and the American Chamber of Commerce CSR Excellence Awards.
Caltex FYS beneficiaries were selected by Chevron’s project partners, the DepEd and the American Chamber Foundation of the Philippines based on stringent criteria such as having the highest need public high school students in their enrollment and a sharp focus on STEM learning. Teachers can choose the learning materials they need up to P100,000 in value per school.
“We’re very grateful to the Caltex Fuel Your School program. Not only will this help the overall STEM track of our dear school, it will also open up new avenues for us to produce more globally competitive students. It feels great to know that the joint effort of our teachers and students has resulted into an amazing award,” exclaimed Abra National High School teacher Agnes Faye Bringas.
“I am amazed by the teamwork and the winning spirit of our participating schools, DepEd, our retailers and the community. Not only did we reach our goal of P3 million to give to public high schools, we have proven that by working together, businesses and customers can help fill the gap in teaching resources in our public education system. But more needs to be done and more can be done if we will all support STEM education. So, I call on other companies, businessmen, charitable groups and other sectors to support STEM learning for it is the path to a long-term inclusive economy,” ends Zhang.
For more information about the STEM projects of the beneficiary schools, you can visit https://caltexfuelyourschoolph.com/.