Project Philippines – Leyte 2013

SEALNET PROJECT PHILIPPINES-LEYTE 2013

Time: Thursday, August 8th, 2013 to Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Location: Palo, Leyte, Philippines

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Project Philippines 2013 aims to build on the foundation of Project Philippines 2012 – Leyte by helping the Filipino youth develop an appreciation of the scientific traits of inquiry, problem solving, and most importantly a ‘can do’ attitude. Due to societal stereotypes, limited resources, and the underdeveloped opportunities, the talents of young Filipino scientists and engineers are constrained within academia and the lab. We aim to draw these skills out and furnish them with an entrepreneurial, leadership, and service-oriented spirit. We hope that equipped with these assets, the youth will be ready to tackle the problems of the Philippines and create effective solutions, and as a result, establish economic, political, and social stability in the country.

COMMUNITY CHALLENGE

 As a developing country in Asia, the Philippines has experienced impressive economic growth over the past decade. Despite this growth, poverty worsened because of unsustainable population growth rate and inequitable distribution of income, which is compounded by low quality education and a lack of relevant social innovation. Over the years, the Philippines has also experienced very low scientific output. There is a direct correlation between the level of scientific output of a country and level of growth in the knowledge-based economy, where ideas and innovations play a vital role in the economic growth. We believe that a country rich with intellectual manpower is a country that can sustain long-term economic progress, social and political stability. While increasing the quality of education is important to address these present problems, we believe that by cultivating a scientific culture we can develop a society that is open to new ideas and can make these ideas into practical and sustainable solutions to the present problems of their community.

Upon seeing the participants of Project Philippines 2012 – Leyte respond with unbridled enthusiasm, Project Philippines 2013 wants to sustain that fire of intellectual innovation in the younger generation and spread it further across the Philippines. We believe that science is more than just something learned in the classroom, and that in order for the Philippines to progress in science and technology, we need to have citizens who are not only academically-gifted but who are also scientific leaders and entrepreneurs who can communicate, initiate, and act on their ideas.

As such, Project Philippines 2013 hopes to implement a leadership project with a science and engineering focus to give these students the skills to utilize their knowledge to solve real-world problems.

OBJECTIVES

  • Inculcating a “can-do” attitude in the students of the target high school
  • Providing the mentees a venue to exercise leadership and entrepreneurial skills
  • Instilling in the mentees the concept and spirit of science and engineering focused leadership and entrepreneurship
  • Establishing a set of sustainable and socially relevant community service projects proposed, managed, and owned by the mentees
  • Strengthening the foundation of SEALNet and the spirit of service and leadership in the school, the community, and the country

APPROACHES

Following the two-pronged vision of SEALNet, the project is composed of two major components: the leadership week, which will be mainly focused on building leadership skills through workshops, and the service week, where the students, equipped with skills from the first week, will implement what they learned through their own service project.

Leadership:
Leadership activities will include but will not be limited to workshops on time and financial management, negotiation and conflict resolution, elevator pitch, team management, and agile engineering. Moreover, this year we plan to introduce the idea of marketing ideas to potential sponsors and benefactors.

Service:
In the second week of the project, students will first observe and identify the issues in their community. The design, plan, and execute their own community service project in their local community using the tools and skills they have acquired during the leadership workshops, which will culminate in a community service day and a final presentation during the closing ceremonies. We believe that by giving them essential tools and skills instead of planning the service project ourselves is a more effective approach in empowering them to make a difference in their community. 

LOCAL PARTNER 

The Philippine Science High School – Eastern Visayas Campus (PSHS – EVC) is one of the eleven (11) regional campuses of the PSHS System located in Pawing, Palo, Leyte, less than an hour’s travel from PSHS – WVC. In the last year project, Project Philippines Leyte – 2012, the science and engineering leadership education- focused project was first successfully took place. A SEALNet club has been established in this regional campus headed by a dynamic and enthusiastic group of
high school students. We keep working with them to make the project sustainable and empower the students even further. In the future, we are looking into their partner schools as well.

TEAM MEMBER RESPONSIBILITY

As with all SEALNet projects, all team members are expected to take a personal stake in the project.

Team members of Project Philippines 2013 – Leyte are expected to:

  • Be actively involved in the planning process, including, but not limited to fundraising, coordinating with the local partner, creating the workshop curriculum, etc.
  • Be open, participative, and available in communicating ideas and suggestions to team members through emails and shared documents
  • Be willing to mentor, lead, and share sincerely with fellow team members and local mentees
  • Be adventurous and open-minded in learning about and exploring a new country and a new culture
  • Be professional and committed in all dealings with the project

 DESIRED QUALITIES

We are seeking approximately 12-14 qualified college students from around the world to become team members.

The following qualities are desirable for optimizing group dynamics:

  • Passionate about our cause and share the same goals and visions
  • Enthusiastic
  • Committed
  • Responsible
  • Respectful of, flexible and open-minded about new ideas and new cultures
  • Punctual

We envision a well-balanced and diverse team comprised of students from different educational and cultural backgrounds; thus, applications will not be exclusive to those who are majoring in the sciences and engineering. Any college students from any majors who share the same goals and visions to this project are encouraged to apply to become project members.

PROJECT LEADERS

Carmela Antoinette Lao (MIT ’15) – cslao@mit.edu

Hikaru Miyazaki (MIT ’15) – hikarum@mit.edu