STEM Teaching Factory: From In-person to Virtual Teacher Immersion Program

Conference: The Barcelona Conference on Education (BCE2022)
Title: STEM Teaching Factory: From In-person to Virtual Teacher Immersion Program
Stream: Professional Training, Development & Concerns in Education
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Edwehna Elinore Paderna, University of the Philippines, Philippines


The STEM Teaching Factory is a joint program of the Center for Integrated STEM Education, Inc. (CISTEM), Unilab Foundation, Inc., Unilab Pharma Academy, Amherst Laboratories, Inc., and Belmont Softgel Pharma Corporation. It is a career immersion program that has four components: (1) conceptual lectures on STEM and good manufacturing practices (GMP), (2) experiments and hands-on operation of modern laboratory and industrial-grade equipment, (3) plant tours, (4) career talks. The knowledge and skills gained by the teachers are expected to boost their capability to teach STEM subjects to their students. The pilot implementation of the program was in July 2019 when 14 teachers from schools near the plant were welcomed to the Amherst Laboratories for an intensive 10-day training. They performed activities using the laboratories’ industry-grade equipment. The training continued for another batch in September-October 2019. However, when the pandemic happened in 2020, the STEM Teaching Factory had to pivot to a 5-day virtual teacher immersion program. The highlight of the transition was the use of the Labster Virtual Laboratory. All lectures and activities were done online. The first batch of teachers of the Online STEM Teaching Factory (OSTF) was in December 2020. It was followed by two more batches in July and November 2021. The next batch of 80 teachers will be in October 2022. The weighted mean rating in the evaluation of the three runs of the OSTF is 4.94 (maximum score = 5.00). Parallel in-person laboratory activities and Labster simulations will be presented.

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