This is an Entry to the Government Best Practice Recognition Awards
Pagwaragwag: A Community Research Affair
Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus (PSHS-WVC)
Taken from the Hiligaynon word for which means “to broadcast,” Pagwaragwag is a program initiated by the Philippine Science High School – Western Visayas Campus (PSHS-WVC) Research Unit in partnership with Department of Educations (DepEd) Provincial Offices in Antique, Guimaras, and Aklan that mobilizes PSHS students to talk about their research to help grassroot communities understand and take advantage of scientific researches.
Background and Problem
There is a huge gap in the communication of research to the community. Science and research are found difficult to be understood by the lay community. Traditionally, researchers present their studies to their peers; as such, there is no need to “laymanize” the language and explanations.
The concept of a research community fair for lay people is in line with the PSHS’ mandate to promote science. As a leader in science education, PSHS-WVC spearheaded the Pagwawarag fair in order to hone students in communicating science to the grassroots community.
Solution and Impact
Pagwaragwag started off as a partnership between the municipal LGUs in Region 6 in 2010. Since then, the program grew with DepEd Provincial Offices becoming PSHS’ primary partners. It contributes to the attainment of the institution’s targets including the STEM Promotion Programs by reaching more municipalities, cities and recipients of promotional activities. It contributes in the establishment of PSHS-WVC’s leadership role in secondary STEM education.
Pagwaragwag brings science to the community by having the students in their booths, sharing with the audience the science behind their work and the results of their study using non-technical terms and preferably, in their own local language. The audience is also engaged through games, demonstrations, or representations. The practice is beneficial both to the students and the stakeholders. The students are trained to communicate science to laypeople while stakeholders are given important information about the latest in science and technology.
Pagwaragwag is being conducted every year in Antique, Guimaras, and Aklan, with as many as 70 to 90 PSHS-WVC students , and 200 to 800 students participating from other schools. Recently, the program included a teacher-training component where 60 teachers were trained in various approaches in teaching science.
Pagwawarag is interactive and engaging, and is often done in a gymnasium or plaza which provides an open atmosphere for learning. Local languages are used as medium of communication. Pagwaragwag evolved to have a differentiated aspects to cater to elementary pupils, high school students, teachers, and other stakeholders.
Though no recognition was given to Pagwaragwag, its format became the basis for the organization of PSHS System’s first National Science Fair in 2011 and the International Science Fair in 2013. Other schools also adapted the format of Pagwaragwag.