How 2 Pinoy doctors are getting kids to love science

Posted at 02/08/2014 8:34 AM | Updated as of 02/08/2014 3:50 PM
Dr. Cynthia Goh and Dr. Mayrose Salvador (Composite Photo)

TORONTO - Two Filipino doctors in Toronto are changing the way kids learn science by staging events to show how fun and interesting science can be beyond textbooks.

It is science made fun, thanks to Dr. Mayrose Salvador and Dr. Cynthia Goh.

The two doctors founded Pueblo Science, a local non-profit organization working to raise science literacy in underprivileged communities in Canada and the developing world.

"I come from the northern Philippines. It's a small village in Ilocos Norte and I grew up there and I actually see a lot of practices that, you know, with proper knowledge, would have been avoided, that's affecting the lives of people there. Llike for example, lots of people still burn forests up to these days. So that got me thinking about trying to educate the kids, for the younger age, for them to be able to make better decisions, when they actually grow up,” said Salvador, a physical chemistry scientist.

Dr. Goh is from Palawan and she said the time she spent there was an inspiration for Pueblo Science.

"I actually volunteered with the school there and that summer, I created a summer camp for kids, so I did that for a couple of years, and the teachers from the barrios, they came and they were very enthusiastic, and they wanted to observe the kids, that's when I thought we should really do some work with the teachers, how we can make things affordable and really hands-on,” the chemistry professor said.

University of Toronto students with science backgrounds also volunteer to work with the organization.

“So primarily here it's just been about doing science demonstrations for adults and youth and creating science kits we can bring overseas," said Jennifer Tsoung.

Like travelling caravans, Pueblo Science goes to many places. One of them was the Family Sundays at Hart House, showcasing Curious Kids Love Science experiments.

"These days with Pueblo Science, we try to relate anything that we teach the kids and the teachers with things that they see around them, for them to be able to understand the world that's surrounding them better," Dr. Salvador said.

Six volunteers from Pueblo Science will be heading back to the Philippines in April and their first stop will be in Palawan, Batanes and Ilocos Norte. The science educators will be training teachers on how to develop a more fun and engaging science lessons using locally available materials.