Thursday, May 2, 2013

NISMED was awarded a plaque of recognition by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) during its 25th anniversary celebration on 19 September 2012 held at the EDSA Shangrila Hotel. The Silver Pillar Award was given to NISMED in recognition of its valuable contributions in the development of science education in the country. NISMED has undertaken various programs and projects with DOST-SEI for the past 25 years.
DOST Undersecretary Dr. Fortunato T. de la Peña and SEI Director Filma G. Brawner flank
NISMED Director Dr. Soledad A. Ulep during the awarding ceremony.

Dr. Soledad A. Ulep, Director of NISMED, accepted the award on behalf of the Institute from DOST Undersecretary Dr. Fortunato de la Peña and DOST-SEI Director Dr. Filma G. Brawner. Dr. Aida I. Yap, Deputy Director for Administration, also attended the ceremony.

DOST and its attached agencies, the Science Education Institute (SEI) and Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) have had a history of partnership with NISMED. Some of the DOST projects undertaken with NISMED are the series of international mathematics and science studies (SISS 1984, TIMSS 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2008), the Science and Mathematics Education Manpower Development Project (SMEMDP), and Project RISE. The most recent DOST undertakings with NISMED include the following: Development of a Science Curriculum Framework, Innovative Practices in Managing Large Classes for Effective Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics, and Interactive Courseware for Mathematics Grades 1. SEI recently tapped NISMED as one of the participating agencies for its new projects Interactive Courseware for Grades 2-6 Mathematics and Project HOTS: Hands-On Teaching of Science Through Inquiry.
(Editor’s Note: The “lessons” were culled from Dr. Merle C. Tan’s talk at the Tri-Unit General Assembly on 8 October 2012 at the Benitez Hall Auditorium where retirees from the College of Education, UP Integrated School and NISMED were honored. Ester A. Bautista of NISMED was also honored.)

As retirement draws near, I would like to share the things I learned in life and from 44.5 years of serving UP and UP NISMED, in particular.
  • Give your best in whatever you do and God will take care of the rest.

    I did have a career path until 1968 when my dream of becoming a medical doctor slowly faded away, for financial reasons. After I finished my pre-medicine course, I enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) Chemistry program not only because I had more than enough of the required Chemistry units for that degree but also because I wanted to earn as graduate student assistant at the Registrar’s Office. At that time, I was still hoping that after a year or two, my parents would have enough resources for me to go to medical school.

    After three years as graduate student assistant, I applied at the then Science Education Center and landed a job as research assistant to Prof. Pilar da Silva who became my mentor and best friend.

    I enjoyed my work and studies at the same time which provided me very enriching experiences. Five years after earning an M.A.T. degree in 1973, I took and passed a competitive examination given by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), then NSDB, that qualified me for a scholarship for a Ph.D. in Environmental Science. Being a promdi, this area of specialization fascinated me. Getting that degree in 1983 was the best thing that happened to my career. Now I can say that I was there at the right time. Because of that, I forgot my ambition of becoming a medical doctor. I know that my work related to the environment and science education was planned FOR me and not BY me.

  • Never say “No,” especially to a challenging task.
    When we are able to solve what seems to be a difficult task we become more confident and gain the respect of colleagues and superiors. Sometimes we may not succeed, but those can be “charged to experience.” If the task requires extending a helping hand even without promise of remuneration my father would always say “rewards are sweeter when they come unexpectedly.” One of the things he taught me and my siblings was to “never put a money value to what you can do for people.” True enough, more often than not, you will be surprised by what they give or offer in return.

  • Never get discouraged even if your best may not be so for others.
    Some people may not like our decisions and we may be criticized for doing so. For as long as we do our homework, we will always be ready to cope with criticisms, adapt to changes, and take calculated risks. My spiritual adviser and confessor said: Even if there are ten angels rallying behind you, only one distracter can ruin your mood. Take criticism as an opportunity to do better.

  • Do not compete with others; compete with yourself only.
    My mother, who happened to be my Grade 1 teacher and who was very strict always told us in class: “Don’t look at what others are doing nor compare what you have done with others. Just do what you can do best.” This inspired me a lot that every time I joined competitions, I always believed that I had something to offer.

  • Try to sustain networks and if possible, establish new ones.
    I have a lot of friends; some are younger while others are more senior in age and experience. Part of being me and my achievements are my friends who have me in mind when they have work to do. They are already making sure that I will have something productive to do after I have retired.

  • Walk your talk.
    Model what you believe in. Balance your life as a professional, give time for family bonding, and give time to do charity. The best compliments I ever received were that I “can work with all kinds of people” and am “easy to get along with.”

    I am ending my government service officially in December but I promise to be available when my assistance is needed. My legacy was time spent helping build our organizations and an abiding passion for promoting the kind of UP education and values I know. Your legacy to me is one of comradeship and faith in teamwork. I am certain that NISMED will achieve far better things than what we observe now with unconditional support from everyone.

    I thank you all who have made a difference in my life.

Dr. Soledad A. Ulep
UP NISMED Director
Being prepared to deal with the dangers posed by natural disasters such as earthquakes is important. As such, disaster preparedness should be included in the school curriculum and discussed in classes. Understanding earthquakes requires the application of certain science and mathematics concepts, principles, and skills. The science curriculum already includes topics on earthquakes and related disaster preparedness. However, the mathematics curriculum does not adequately, if at all, use earthquakes as context for the application of mathematics and for making students aware of how they can be ready for them. To enable mathematics teachers to relate earthquakes to their mathematics lessons and naturally discuss disaster preparedness, they need opportunities to learn how these can be done. For this purpose, two staff members of NISMED, one from the High School Earth/Environmental Science (HSES) Group and one from the High School Mathematics (HSM) Group teamed up to identify a mathematical task contextualized on earthquakes. The task involved graphs showing the functional relationship of two changing quantities when an earthquake occurs.

Since 2010, the HSM Group of NISMED has been working with the mathematics teachers of a public high school in Pasig City to promote the teaching of mathematics through problem solving using lesson study. A school-based and teacher-led professional development model for teachers which originated in Japan, lesson study enables teachers to research on their own teaching practices in order to improve students’ thinking and learning. Based on a long term goal that the teachers formulate, they collaboratively develop, implement then revise/improve a research lesson using pieces of evidence on students’ thinking and learning gathered during the actual implementation of the research lesson. In the partner school of NISMED in Pasig City, the long-term goal of the lesson study groups is to develop students’ mathematical thinking through problem solving. Their sub-goals are to represent real-life and mathematical situations, to give meaning to these representations, and to solve problems in different ways.

Graphs can visually represent functions. It is in Mathematics IV that students study functions. So, the NISMED team decided to work with the Mathematics IV teachers. The team realized that if the students were given a graph, they would most likely ask questions to make sense of what it meant. So, the team thought that the mathematical task which could be used in the research lesson should require the students to formulate questions whose answers could be found in the graph. The students would have to think much in generating questions because of the condition that the answers could be obtained from the graph. The task was open-ended since it could have many different correct responses (questions) from the students. Based on the various information that could be drawn from answering these questions, the students could form generalizations which they could find useful in making decisions on how to avoid experiencing the damage that earthquakes could bring.

The meeting of the NISMED team with the group of Mathematics IV teachers to do the lesson study was timely. The Mathematics IV classes were then studying polynomial functions. The teachers claimed that it would be their first time to use a natural disaster, namely, earthquake, as context for students to apply their knowledge and skills related to functions. They expressed their lack of confidence to teach the research lesson that the lesson study group (the Mathematics IV teachers and the NISMED team) would develop because of their lack of the science knowledge needed in understanding earthquakes. They also claimed that it would be their first time to give students a task that would require them to formulate their own questions. The teachers were apprehensive that the students would not be able to come up with questions. Initially, they asked the NISMED HSES Group staff many questions about earthquakes. When the science concepts became clear to them, the lesson study group collaboratively developed the research lesson. The teachers suggested that the students do the task in small groups; that during the whole-class discussion of the groups’ outputs, the questions should be arranged as easy, average, and difficult and that the questions formulated by a group should be answered by other groups; and that focus should be made on those questions that would lead to the desired generalizations so that there would be lesson closure.

Each teacher implemented the research lesson in one of their classes with the rest of the members of the lesson study group observing. The group conducted a post-lesson discussion at the end of each lesson. During each post-lesson discussion, the teachers expressed amazement at their students’ ability to formulate questions and answer them based on the graph. The observers noted that during the small group discussions, the students often referred to what they had learned in their previous science and mathematics lessons while doing the task. They observed that everyone contributed to the discussions. They found out during the whole class discussions that the students expressed similar ideas in the form of different questions. After the first implementation of the research lesson, the lesson study group decided that instead of asking the different groups to put together questions based on their difficulty level, they would ask them to put together questions that expressed the same ideas. As a result, it became easier for students to formulate the desired generalizations.

The teachers remarked that through lesson study they learned much from their new experience of using a science-related topic, earthquake, as context for their students to apply their mathematics knowledge and skills and to develop skills in question posing. They liked the research lesson because it provided the students the opportunity to realize the importance of the mathematics that they were learning in school in their lives. Indeed, much could be learned from natural disasters!
In March 2011, a very powerful earthquake struck Japan and unleashed a tsunami that claimed countless lives and caused indescribable destruction. In response to this tragic disaster, Dr. Masami Isoda of the University of Tsukuba (Japan) and Dr. Maitree Inprasitha of Khon Kaen University (Thailand) teamed up for a project—Emergency Preparedness Education: Learning from Experience, Science of , and Preparing for the Future—whose aim is to teach students about mathematics and survival, using natural disasters as context.

Funded by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the project has two main targets: “to save school children during disasters with the use of visual materials and share the essential strategies of evacuations in the disasters; and to develop teaching materials using data which are necessary to scientifically understand the mechanism and influence of disasters.” Joining forces in this project are specialists from Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, South Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, USA, Peru, Australia, Russia, South Africa, Mexico, Singapore and Chile.

The project was launched in Japan in February, 2012 during the APEC - Tsukuba International Conference VI: Innovation of Mathematics Education through Lesson Study, Challenges to Emergency Preparedness for Mathematics. The specialists, which included NISMED Director Dr. Soledad A. Ulep and Mr. Eligio C. Obille Jr. of the High School Earth/Environmental Science Group, were tasked to engage in the activities of the following project phases. Phase 1 involved the sharing of experiences and scientific knowledge from experts with regards to earthquakes and tsunamis, and developing tentative materials for Lesson Study.

Phase 2 was implemented by the specialists by adapting the tentative materials in their own country and engaging in Lesson Study in their chosen project school. During this phase, Dr. Ulep and Mr. Obille collaborated with three helpful and gutsy Mathematics teachers of Sta. Lucia High School, Pasig City: Ms. Marilou P Fajardo, Ms. Rosario D. Tandoc, and Mr. Roberto LO. Santoyas. Ms. Juanita M. Jose, the Mathematics department head, endorsed the project wholeheartedly to the new principal, Mr. Gilbert Inocencio, who gladly welcomed it.

Students actively participating during the implementation of the lesson
done by Ms. Rose Tandoc
The results of the lesson study were presented during Phase 3 of the APEC Project, which involved sharing of the developed materials and revising them for inclusion in an e-textbook. Phase 3 was carried out in Thailand in September 2012 during the APEC – Khon Kaen International Symposium 2012: Innovation of Mathematics Education through Lesson Study – Challenging from Mathematics Education to Emergency Preparedness Education (Focusing on Earthquakes and Tsunamis).

In addition to the development of an e-textbook, the specialists were also asked to translate into their own language a booklet containing stories from different Japanese newspapers about the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The translated stories will be used as additional reading materials. The APEC Project will continue for two more years. Next year, in 2013, the context for developing Lesson Study teaching materials will be on floods and typhoons. In the final year, in 2014, the theme will be on fire and volcanic eruptions.
A survey conducted by the Elementary School Science Group on teachers in a public elementary school in Quezon City revealed how they go about planning their lessons as well as their references, sources of information, and materials. The survey attempted to determine what kind of help they need in their lesson planning activities that can be provided by NISMED as a research, curriculum development and professional development extension unit.

Preliminary results responding to the main research question in the title are indicated in the following statements culled from the raw data:
  1. Almost all of the 17 teachers who returned the questionnaires write down/encode their lesson plans.
  2. Most (13) prepare their lesson plans on their own while a few (4) sometimes prepare these with other teachers.
  3. Just slightly more than half (9) revise their old lesson plans every year while the rest (8) just revise “sometimes.”
  4. Most (13) write new lesson plans every year; very few (4) “sometimes” write new lesson plans every year.
  5. Most (15) prepare their own lesson plans; only two (2) “sometimes” prepare their own lesson plans.
  6. Most (13) sometimes borrow another teacher’s lesson plan; a few (4) “never” do.
With regard to the procedure or steps they take in lesson planning or preparing to teach a Science lesson, most start with a lesson plan, lesson guide, budget of work, the Philippine Elementary Learning Competencies (PELC) Science, the aim, or subject matter; others start with the references (books and teaching guides). Only a few begin with a consideration of the pupils’ ability level, materials or equipment needed (like a projector or computer).

Most attend to the “materials,” “activities,” “visual aids,” “pictures,” needed AFTER they have made the lesson plan.

Majority (11) of the teachers initially surveyed said that they use ready-made lesson plans but as references only in preparing their own.

During the informal focus group discussion (FGD) the teachers explained that they edit these lesson plans, if not in writing, surely in delivery. They usually revise the activities or add to these, since they consider the activities in the textbooks and accompanying teaching guides inadequate or in need of adjustment or changes here and there.

In this light, the seemingly contradictory practices of writing “new lesson plans each year,” which a majority (13) did, and revising “old lesson plans every year” which is practiced by more than half of the total number respondents (9 of 17) may be explained by the fact that they do edit, revise, adjust and make some changes in the delivery, as well as re-write anew (with the current date) their lesson plans each year, as required of them, though these may be copies of old lesson plans.

The teachers also revealed during the FGD that they lack activities to be used in teaching Science. The textbooks contain very few activities that they can use in their classes if they intend to teach Science using the inquiry approach.

The findings of this survey, detailing the methodology and more thorough analyses and literature review will be reported in an article to be written for publication by the Elementary School Science Group.

The Chemistry group formally started the third cycle of the Collaborative Lesson Research and Development (CLRD) Project with North Fairview High School (NFHS) on 15 June 2012. The group brainstormed on a research lesson topic to be taught for the third cycle, settling on, “Factors Affecting Solubility.” The research lesson was implemented on 20 to 22 November 2012.

For this cycle, two new members joined the CLRD group while three original members left. The Head of the Science Department no longer joined the group since it could now stand on its own.
Three NISMED staff presented papers during the 2012 World Association of Lesson Studies (WALS) International Conference in Singapore on 28-30 November 2012. Ms. Lydia Landrito presented a paper titled “Analysis of a Problem Solving Activity in a Year 8 Mathematics Class.” Ms. Ma. Lourdes Agad’s topic was “Assessing Students’ Thinking in Doing an Activity Using Group Interviews.” Ms. Cerilina Maramag spoke on “Factors Influencing Teachers’ Collaboration in Lesson Study for Teaching Physics through Inquiry.” The conference theme was Challenging Practice, Enhancing Partnerships, Nurturing the Child.
Dr. Aida I. Yap received an Outstanding Oral Presentation Award and Ms. Arlene de la Cruz, a Popular Vote Oral Presentation Award, at the 1st International Conference on Innovation in Education (ICIE) held on 7-9 November 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand. The theme of the conference was Innovative Science, Mathematics and Technology (SMT) Education for Enhancement of Learning for the 21st Century. The Institute for Innovative Learning of Mahidol University hosted the conference that aimed to foster the building of research communities in the field of science, mathematics, and technology education.

Dr. Aida I. Yap receives an award for
Outstanding Oral Presentation
Dr. Yap’s paper, titled “Enhancing Pupils’ Understanding of Mathematics through the Use of Digitized Learning Materials” was based on the project Technology Package for Student Learning Empowerment by the Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), NISMED, DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), and the Department of Education. The study investigated the effectiveness of using an interactive courseware on Grade 1 pupils’ learning of selected topics in elementary mathematics.

Ms. Arlene de la Cruz receives a
certificate for Popular Vote Oral
Presentation Award
Ms. de la Cruz’s paper was on “Building on Students’ Language Preference to Engage Them Actively in Learning How Fast Solids Dissolve in Water.” This study discussed the pretest and posttest results as well as the verbal and written expressions during and after a 4-day (1 hour/day) high school chemistry lesson on How Fast Solids Dissolve in Water using the students’ preferred language of instruction. Results showed that students preferred Tagalog or Filipino as language of instruction. In addition, the collaborative effort among the Chemistry teachers and NISMED researcher brought about positive learning outcomes like students being able to communicate their ideas and actively participate in class.

Dr. Teresita Mañalac also presented a paper in the said conference. Her paper was on “Improving Understanding of Fractions in the Early Grades through Collaborative Lesson Research and Development.” This paper presented an analysis of a research lesson on fractions, one of the difficult topics to teach in the elementary grades. Thirteen Grade 1 mathematics teachers in a public elementary school collaboratively worked on this lesson that exemplified teaching mathematics through problem solving.
Dr. Erlina R. Ronda poses with her poster
 at ICME
Dr. Erlina R. Ronda presented a poster titled Algebraic-Thinking-Focused Approach for Teaching Subtraction of Integers at the 12th International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME) held in Seoul, South Korea on 9-15 July 2012. In the poster, Dr. Ronda presented a research-in-progress report of her study of a teaching sequence developed by Grade 7 teachers of Sta. Lucia High School in Pasig. The study seeks to identify a typical learning trajectory for teaching addition and subtraction of integers and determine some design principles for tasks that will facilitate students’ understanding of, and computational fluency in, adding and subtracting negative numbers.
NISMED, in partnership with Intel Education, initiated a free webinar series to support the implementation of Grade 7 Science in the K to 12 Basic Education Program. Dubbed “UP NISMED webinars: K to 12 science series,” the webinars aimed to share with Grade 7 teachers and other science educators critical information, resources, and updates to support the implementation of the K to 12 Science curriculum. The webinars also served as a platform for clarifying issues and problems encountered by Grade 7 teachers in the course of using the NISMED-developed student modules and teaching guides for Grade 7 Science. This is the only support initiative of its kind among all subject areas and grade levels implementing the country’s K to 12 Basic Education Program.
The webinars take place every fourth Friday of the month from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. The five webinars conducted on 27 July, 24 August, 28 September, 25 October, and 23 November drew some 220 teachers, teacher education faculty, and administrators from more than 70 public and private high schools, teacher education institutions, laboratory schools, and public schools in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

The first webinar, conducted on 27 July, highlighted the philosophy and key features of the K to 12 science curriculum. Dr. Merle C. Tan (convenor for K to 12 Science) and Dr. Marlene B. Ferido (co-convenor and writer) were the resource persons. Dr. Tan discussed the inquiry-based, spiral progression that characterizes the K to 12 Science curriculum, while Dr. Ferido presented the storyline of Grade 7 Science and an overview of the four quarters. She also gave a more detailed description of Quarter 1: Diversity of Materials in the Environment.

The second webinar, conducted on 24 August, featured Quarter 2: Living Things in the Environment. The webinar presenters were Dr. Risa L. Reyes, Ms. Ma. Dulcelina O. Sebastian, and Michael Anthony B. Mantala. Mr. Mantala presented the biology storyline and discussed Modules 1, 4 and 5. Ms. Sebastian and Dr. Reyes discussed Modules 2 and 3, respectively. The module discussions focused on strategies and resources for effectively facilitating the various learning activities and included tips for using local substitutes for materials in activities and how to deal with error-prone steps and procedures.

On 28 September, during the third webinar, Grade 7 teachers shared classroom experiences, student feedback, insights and key learnings during their teaching using the modules. There was a consensus that the learning activities are appropriate for the students, and that the modules helped Grade 7 teachers, who are non-Chemistry and non-Biology majors, facilitate the lessons successfully.

The fourth webinar, conducted on 25 October, focused on Quarter 3: Energy in Motion. The webinar was led by the module writers who acted as presenters. These included Dr. Leticia V. Catris of the Philippine Normal University, Ms. Alvie J. Asuncion of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, and Ms. Cerilina M. Maramag of NISMED. Ms. Maramag presented an overview of the third quarter modules. She traced the spiralling of energy-related concepts from Grade 1 to Grade 6, highlighted the main ideas that will be covered in Grade 7, and talked about the focus questions as well as the general and specific topics in each of the six modules. She also discussed the details of Module 1 (Motion) and Module 5 (Heat). Dr. Catris discussed Modules 2, 3 and 4 (Waves, Sound, and Light), and Ms. Asuncion discussed Module 6 (Electricity).

The fifth webinar, conducted on 23 November, featured Quarter 4: Earth and Space and concluded the content-specific webinars for Grade 7 science. Mr. Eligio C. Obille Jr. of NISMED’s Earth/Environmental Science Group was the presenter. He discussed the three major topics of geology, meteorology, and astronomy and how these spiral from Grade 6 thru Grade 8. Mr. Obille then explained each learning activity-- mindfully giving attendees tips and precautions.

Each webinar, which runs on the Adobe Connect webinar platform, is fully recorded to provide access to those who miss the live meeting. Links to the recordings are made available in a discussion thread devoted to the webinar series in the KaSaMa Teachers Online Community site. The discussion thread also serves as the download site for the PowerPoint presentations used by the resource persons and the list of questions, issues and concerns raised during the webinars. The discussion thread is now replete with implementation feedback from Grade 7 science teachers consisting of classroom accounts and photos of students performing the activities.

The K to 12 science webinar series is fully supported in KaSaMa Teachers online community. Invites to each monthly webinar and announcements regarding the availability of webinar resources are broadcast to members. An event page for each webinar also allows members to signify attendance through an online RSVP. A discussion thread contains the webinar schedules and provides post-webinar support where attendees, resource persons, NISMED curriculum writers, and community members continue to exchange practices and experiences, ask questions and raise concerns, and share tips to improve the implementation of Grade 7 science in the classrooms. To join the webinars, go to

In celebration of NISMED’s 48th anniversary on 20 November 2012, Dr. Alfredo Mahar A. Lagmay, the Executive Director of Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), was invited to talk on “Disaster Preparedness: Just a click away!”
Dr. Lagmay talks about disaster preparedness during a public lecture held at  NISMED's Auditorium
Dr. Lagmay began the lecture with a slide on the natural hazards in the Philippines such as pyroclastic flow, lahar, tsunami, landslides, and floods. These natural hazards make the Philippines vulnerable to environmental disasters. Project NOAH was then launched by the Department of Science and Technology as a responsive program of the government for disaster prevention and management. This program is specifically tasked to provide a 6-hour lead-time warning to vulnerable communities against impending floods and to use advanced technology to enhance current geo-hazard vulnerability maps. Dr. Lagmay showed the audience how to navigate the Project NOAH website ( and how to use the website’s tools. In the course of his lecture, Dr. Lagmay was upbeat and humorous as he recounted his experiences in coordinating collaboration between the public and the private sectors and during his interaction with the audience during the open forum.

The public lecture was held at the NISMED Dolores F. Hernandez Hall Auditorium. Among those who attended the lecture were elementary and high school teachers from Balara Elementary School, Commonwealth Elementary School, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo High School, Krus na Ligas High School, First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities, some faculty members of the UP College of Education, Dr. Celia Bulan of the UP College of Arts and Letters and her class, and Dr. Kenichi Hiura, a former JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) expert.
The Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) invited NISMED to conduct the Research Enhancement Training Workshop on 4-6 September 2012 at Punta de Fabian Resort, Rizal. The workshop’s objective was to enhance the capability of science and mathematics faculty/researchers in producing academic researches and create a research culture within the Centers of Development (CODs) in Teacher Education. Specifically, it aimed to: a) update participants on current research methods; b) present various ways of publication; and c) establish a network for collaborative research within CODs.
Dr. Ronda shares her expertise on research to faculty members and researchers from CODs in Teacher Education
Dr. Amelia P. Punzalan, Dr. Erlina R. Ronda, and Ms. Arlene P. de la Cruz served as resource persons during the workshop. They provided an in-depth training workshop on the step-by-step research process, including trends, format and modalities of publishing Science and Mathematics researches. This was participated in by science and mathematics faculty/researchers from CODs in Teacher Education.

NISMED announces the publi-cation of a new module for classroom use titled Mixtures in the Kitchen. The module comes in two editions: one consists only of Pupils’ Activities which the individual pupil may acquire for himself or herself and on whose pages he/she may write down his/her answers. It is in a format that will hone the pupils’ reading and writing skills. But more importantly, these activities start with eliciting the pupils’ prior knowledge and provide key Filipino terms for some objects, verbs, and adjectives in line with the DepEd policy encouraging use of the mother tongue to facilitate learning and understanding. The activities are inquiry-based, hands-on and minds-on. This means that they develop the learner’s manipulative skills as well as the science processes skills of inquiry, making use of concrete materials and allowing the learners to construct the ideas that will lead towards formulation of concepts close to or in line with current scientific knowledge and scientists’ views.

The other edition contains Teacher Materials aside from the Pupils’ Activities. This is for the teacher and contains an Overview of the unit, Reference to the PELC-BEC (as well as to the K to 12 Curriculum though the latter will not be implemented for the elementary grades until 2014 starting with Grade 3), Teaching Strategies Highlighted, Potential Sources of Misconceptions, Vocabulary, Teaching Plan for the Unit with the Lesson Plans, and Answers to Test Yourself, (the summative test), as well as to the formative questions in each activity.

The price of the new module is broken down as follows:
P120.00 for the Teacher’s Edition
P 60.00 for the Pupils’ Edition

Assessment Items in Elementary School Science is a collection of multiple choice and constructed response items under the major content domains found in the Philippine Elementary Learning Competencies-Basic Education Curriculum (PELC-BEC) namely: People, Animals, Plants, Materials, Energy, Force and Motion, Earth, Weather, and Space. They are classified under the TIMSS cognitive domains of Factual Information and Conceptual Understanding for Grades 1 and 2 plus the third domain of Reasoning and Analysis for Grades 3 to 6.

These 20 or so items per grade level have been subjected to tryouts with students, item analyses, revision and review by NISMED subject area specialists, and scientists specializing in the life sciences, physical sciences, and earth sciences.

They may be used by teachers to serve as models for summative assessment as well as for formative assessment with modifications. 

It is hoped that these kinds of items will eventually alter the way teachers teach and what students learn. It is also hoped that teachers will learn to construct items similar to these and develop the science process/inquiry skills among school children. The book costs P150.00.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through the Science Education Institute (SEI) and the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) in collaboration with NISMED and DepEd piloted the Interactive Courseware for Grade 1 Mathematics using tablet PCs.

The pilot testing started in July 2012 and ended in September 2012. This was implemented in the previously identified schools in Region I, Region IVA, Region VIII, Region X, and NCR. Two schools in each region were used. Two classes in Grade 1 handled by the same teacher were identified; the experimental group (class using the tablet PC) and the control group (class without using the tablet PC). The experimental and the control groups provided comparison data as to how effective the interactive courseware and tablet PCs are in the teaching and learning of Grade 1 mathematics.
NISMED held a soft launch of its book on lesson study on the occasion of its 48th anniversary. The book is a documentation of actual experiences of teachers and students in mathematics and science classes as well as learnings arising from these experiences. As a compilation, these chapters highlight the opportunities provided for students to learn mathematics through problem solving and science through inquiry.

A common theme permeates all the chapters—both teachers and students are learning through lesson study.

This collection of chapters is an innovative initiative that lays the groundwork for an implementable model of lesson study in the Philippine setting. It is NISMED’s contribution to the ongoing search for a model of professional development that can be adapted in spite of large classes, dearth of resources, and a host of challenges faced by Filipino teachers.

The chapters offer vicarious experiences of walking in another person’s shoes. These are not prescriptions to approach a teaching-learning situation. Rather, these are narratives to reveal accounts of how students learned and what actually transpired among teachers as they collaboratively plan, implement, revise, implement again and reflect on specific lessons in science and mathematics.

As written, these chapters could be used as a way to put readers and users “in the shoes” of these teachers and students. For the teacher searching for effective alternatives to current practices, these chapters may be your answer or inspiration.
Mr. Guillermo P. Bautista Jr. of the High School Mathematics Group gave a lecture on GeoGebra for Better Teaching and Learning on 6 October 2012 at St. Therese College, Pasay City. The lecture was attended by 18 third year and 15 fourth year undergraduate students of the City University of Pasay. Most of the attendees were education students.

The topics discussed in the seminar include the basics of GeoGebra such as drawing and construction, exploration of properties of mathematical objects, graphing functions, using sliders, and exporting worksheets to dynamic HTML.

The lecture was one of the projects of the City University of Pasay to expose their students to the latest trends in teaching mathematics.
NISMED academic staff members continue to be involved in the development and validation of science and mathematics teaching and learning materials for the K to 12 curriculum.

Ms. Lydia M. Landrito and Ms. Edna G. Callanta of the High School Mathematics and Elementary School Mathematics Groups, respectively, represented Dr. Soledad A. Ulep in a validation workshop for revised Grade 1 materials on 10-14 September 2012 at the Girls Scouts of the Philippines in Tagaytay City.

On 19 November 2012, another such validation workshop was attended by Ms. Jacqueline Rose M. Gutierrez of the High School Chemistry Group and Ms. May R. Chavez of the High School Physics Group for Grade 7 Science, as well as by Ms. Landrito and Ms. Callanta again for Grade 1 in the same venue.

Earlier, on 14-17 August 2012, Dr. Merle C. Tan of the High School Earth/Environmental Science Group, Dr. Ma. Helen dH. Catalan of the High School Biology Group, Ms. Gutierrez of the High School Chemistry Group, and Ms. Cerilina M. Maramag of the High School Physics Group participated in the “National Orientation Seminar on the Development of the Grades 2 and 8 Instructional Materials” at the Tagaytay International Convention Center.
Dr. Francis T. Molina, a Filipino-American botanist connected with the curriculum initiative Project 2061 of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), conducted a seminar-workshop for NISMED academic staff titled “Helping Students Learn: An Overview of Online Tools and K-12 Learning Progressions” on 13 December 2012 at the Teachers’ Learning Laboratory of NISMED.
NISMED Director Soledad A. Ulep presenting certificate of appreciation to Dr. Molina
Dr. Molina emphasized the importance of sequencing ideas/concepts logically through the grades, from simple to complex, and from concrete to abstract. He also showed how the Atlas of Scientific Literacy may be used in analyzing or developing curriculum, instruction, and assessment materials aligned to K to 12 learning goals. Participants were given exercises on sequencing conceptual statements and relationships and navigating through the online tools to achieve instructional and curriculum coherence.

Representatives from the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute and the Philippine Science High School, as well as the UP Integrated School were also invited.
Prof. Federico M. Macaranas of the Asian Institute of Management and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Mathematics Education and Research, Inc. (FPSMER), conducted a 2-day visioning workshop for NISMED staff on 28 June and 4 July 2012. In the course of the workshop, the staff, in groups, reviewed the Institute’s mission, vision, and functions; identified and defined its problems; and conducted external and internal analyses of NISMED’s situation and environment. In these analyses, NISMED’s strengths and weaknesses relative to its functions were pinpointed, and opportunities and threats were identified (SWOT).

On the second day, the staff focused on building a vision of the Institute in the future taking into consideration the Institute’s mandate. They brainstormed on strategies for achieving the vision and what needs to be done to realize the vision.

The reports of the different groups were then reviewed by a committee that crafted a 5-year strategic plan and finalized the actual wordings of the Institute’s mission-vision.
DZUP 1602, the official radio station of the University of the Philippines Diliman operated by the College of Mass Communication, renewed the terms of agreement with NISMED for the airing of Go Teacher Go! Season 4 (August 2012-January 2013) and Season 5 (February-July 2013. The program, now on its 4th season, continues to provide elementary and high school science and mathematics teachers with new ideas, techniques, and innovative teaching and learning strategies including engaging activities and improvised models that can be used in the classroom.

NISMED science and mathematics education specialists who serve as resource persons simplify difficult concepts to facilitate comprehension. Common beliefs and misconceptions in science and mathematics are also addressed. Faculty from state universities and classroom teachers from public schools as well as individuals from private schools also participate as resource persons and share their insights on some teaching and learning topics.

Ms. Ma. Lourdes S. Agad, Chair of the Audiovisual (AV) Group, and Ms. Lolita M. Mondigo also of the AV Group, take turns in hosting the program. Both of them are accredited announcers of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), having passed the KBP Broadcaster’s Accreditation Examination on 27 February 2012 held at the KBP National Office, Makati City.

Listeners can access the program via live streaming at or visit for episodes that have already been aired.
The awarding ceremony for the search for schools with large and extra-large classes which utilized the most innovative way in teaching science and mathematics was held on 31 August 2012 at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino.

Two schools with the best practices were awarded P100,000 to help them further improve their large class teaching practices. They were also given plaque of recognition. The search was conducted to encourage schools to find innovative ways of teaching and learning science and mathematics efficiently in large classes with more than 50 students.

Bacong National High School in Zamboanga del Norte was awarded for their project titled “Bacong Developmental Instruction.” The project employs various teaching-learning activities using sizing interventions designed to test the effectiveness of the facilitative mode of teaching in a large class size. It allows the students to discover and later on master the high school Mathematics II concepts and hence improve student-performance in achievement tests.

Likewise, Looc National High School in Calamba City was cited for its program titled “Flock Program in Managing Large Class Size in Mathematics III.” The program is based on the concept that the structure, management and monitoring of a class could be done by group or flock. It consists of three innovative practices namely 1) Flock Seating Arrangement, 2) Flock Activities and Facilitation, and 3) Flock Monitoring. The combined effects of the practices make the management of large classes easier and more effective in improving achievement.

The two schools bested four other national finalists: Andres Bonifacio Integrated School in Mandaluyong City, Las Piñas East National High School, Navotas National High School and San Isidro National High School in Makati City.

The search was organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) in cooperation with DepEd and NISMED with Dr. Merle C. Tan as a member of the Steering Committee, Dr. Marlene B. Ferido as a member of the Inter-Agency Committee and the Monitoring Committee, and Dr. Soledad A. Ulep as a member of the Monitoring and Evaluation Team. It ran for two school years and in three phases, namely: Proposal Submission and Evaluation; Project Development, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation; and Presentation of Results in a Forum/National Conference and Awarding of Winners. The proposals were evaluated based on innovativeness (35%), doability and replicability (30%), sustainability and impact (20%) and resource utilization and cost effectiveness (15%).

The awarding ceremony, hosted by Dr. Filma Brawner, Director of DOST-SEI, was attended by the members of the different committees of the search and representatives of other agencies. The guests of honor during the ceremony were DepEd Assistant Secretary Elena R. Ruiz and DOST Undersecretary Fortunato de la Peña.
NISMED has a new website. Check it out at You will find information about NISMED there: its mandate, functions, staff, publications, services, facilities, activities and programs. The sliding panels show the functions of NISMED—to conduct research, develop curriculum materials, train teachers, and perform extension activities along these areas.

Linked to this main site are other sites for specific public services:
  1. AgiMατ stands for Agham, Impormasyon, at Matematika. It contains Science and Mathematics Resources for Teaching ( You will find worksheets, lessons, presentations, videos and podcasts for classroom use and for teacher development in this site.
  2. For lesson study experiences shared with teachers, go to If you want to learn more about lesson study, go to this site and read about the experiences of teachers who are doing lesson study in their schools.
  3. GeoGebra ( is a free software for teaching science and mathematics. You do not have to be connected to the internet to use it. It is easy to learn and works according to the logic of mathematics. Its power is at par with commercial software. NISMED uses it and promotes it among teachers.
  4. KaSaMa Teachers is an online community of science and mathematics educators who strive for excellence through innovation and collaboration. It conducts webinars and discussions and shares resources (

NISMED celebrated its 48th anniversary on 20 November 2012 with the theme: 2 for the GOLD, a countdown of the number of years till it hits the half-century mark. The special day started with a thanksgiving mass celebrated by Fr. Ronnie A. Licayan of the UP Parish of the Holy Sacrifice. This was followed by the launching of three print materials, one video, one interactive courseware, and five websites.

The print materials are Mixtures in the Kitchen (in two editions: one for pupils and the other for teachers), Assessment Items in Elementary School Science, and Lesson Study: Planning Together, Learning Together. The educational video is titled Basura: Banta sa Kalusugan.

The interactive courseware for Grade 1 mathematics was developed by NISMED in cooperation with DOST-SEI, DOST-ASTI, and the Department of Education under the project Technology Package for Student Learning Empowerment: Pilot Testing of Courseware and Tablet PC.

The five websites are the NISMED website, the KaSaMa Teachers online community, the GeoGebra Institute of Metro Manila website, Lesson Study website, and the AgiMat website on Science and Mathematics Resources for Teaching.

The NISMED Library received a total of one hundred and three (103) volumes of books, one hundred and fourteen volumes (114) of journals and six (6) CD-ROM donations from July to December 2012. The bulk of these donations came from former NISMED staff, namely, Dr. Genelita B. Tubal, Ms. Josefina A. Estrera and Dr. Zenaida P. Lopez-Dee. The library also purchased a total of 20 volumes of books from the Manila International Book Fair last September. These new acquisitions are now available to all NISMED Library clients.