Promoting science and technology to Filipino youth through Bato Balani Pinoy Scientist Live!

Last July 30, Diwa held the first-ever Bato Balani Pinoy Scientist Live! Named after Diwa's flagship Bato Balani for Science and Technology magazine, this virtual event aims to bring science and technology closer to students by giving them an opportunity to meet a real-life exceptional Filipino scientist.

The inaugural run of Bato Balani Pinoy Scientist Live! featured renowned Filipino entomologist Aimee Lynn Barrion-Dupo, PhD. A leading spider expert in the country, Dr. Dupo has earned her numerous awards, which include Diwa and BBFI's The Many Faces of the Teacher in 2017, for her contributions to STEM education and Philippine biodiversity.

"Science brings us closer to our culture," Dr. Dupo shared as she provided interesting facts about spiders and insects in the Philippines. "So much of being a scientist is also being a good educator. It's very important to be a good teacher and a good communicator when you are a scientist because we not only communicate what we know in terms of publications, we have to be able to communicate the science that we do to the public. And the only way we can appreciate nature is when we understand them."

Dr. Dupo also shared her journey in becoming a scientist in her field of expertise, and gave teachers, students, and parents insights on how to further their studies on science and technology.

The program also gave recognition to the recipients of the Bato Balani Science Excellence Award (BB SEA) for S.Y. 2020-2021. BB SEA is an annual award for outstanding grade six students who have shown exemplary performance in science and technology in their schools.

Bato Balani Pinoy Scientist Live! hopes that by putting a spotlight on an outstanding Filipino scientist and on young science achievers across the country, more Filipino youth would be inspired to pursue careers in science and technology.

"We need as many scientists as we can," Dr. Dupo said to the students in the audience. "At the moment, we have around one scientist to 10,000 people. We need more scientists and more people like you to go into the sciences."

Here are the BB SEA recipients for S.Y. 2020-2021:

North Luzon

  1. Ecumenical Christian College: Denise Margaret P. Policarpio

  2. Holy Rosary Parochial Institute: Gabrielle Denisse M. Galicia

  3. Little Flower Children's Home Foundation Inc.: Wenzyl Merich J. Kil-o

  4. Mother Goose Special School System, Inc.-Bayambang: Karlynn Severa S. Manganaan

  5. Mother Goose Special School System, Inc.-Dagupan: Eunice Dana C. Dela Cruz