Kids are naturally curious about the world around them, which is why science can be very attractive. At least until they are 9 years old. As they grow up, however, the interest can wane. A study commissioned by Shell in the United Kingdom shows that by the time the kids turn 14, they find science lacking in inspiration and relevance to the real world.
We think one of the reasons behind this disinterest is our kids don't really get to see a lot of real scientists in action. They see them in films and TV, which tend to have a stereotypical image of what scientists are like: white lab gown-wearing, geeky folks who work in the background of toothpaste commercials or are one mistake away from releasing a zombie apocalypse. Definitely unrealistic.
Not to say though that real scientists' lives are not action packed. This is where PinoyScientists comes in. You won't read scientific papers here. It’s a website that provides a glimpse into the lives of real-life Filipino scientists: what they’re currently working on, what their specialties are, and even what they do for fun. Each scientist featured also shares his educational background including courses and/or master's degrees he has taken. Popular schools include Philippine Science High School and the University of the Philippines. Most them then go on to get their doctorate abroad. It's helpful information when you're raising a budding scientist.
A photo of interdisciplinary environmental scholar Marvin Montefrio posted on Pinoyscientists.com
The goal is to paint a more realistic sketch of the Pinoy scientist and to inspire the youth, says site moderator Reina Reyes, who, by the way, is also an astrophysicist. “There are so few of us in the field, so there are fewer opportunities for young people to have personal role models.”
These role models include Francis Paraan who is a theoretical physicist “with research interests in quantum entanglement and computational modeling.” He works at the National Institute of Physics of the Philippines and his hobbies include traveling and relaxing (you'll find him with a buko juice in hand).
There’s also dad Clement Yu. He is currently “the director of Systems Engineering for Thoratec Corporation, a company that specializes in implanted systems for long-term treatment of heart failure.” In his downtime, he plays golf and takes care of his orchids.
Mom Lorenz Ponce, on the other hand, does release and stability testing on drugs for diseases caused by imbalances in the gut microbiome. She's ikes to go exploring new places with her daughter, and her headwear of choice is a penguin hat on cold days.
If your 8-year-old kid want to delve in deeper on the subject of stars, exploration, experiments, this website shows him what being a scientist really means in the world today. The fact that they are Pinoys is the icing on the cake.