WITH the help of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Starbooks (Science and Technology Research and Academic-based Openly Operated Kiosks), a public high school in Bataan topped other schools in the recent National Achievement Test (NAT) in the province.
Dr. Victoria B. Roman Memorial High School in Pilar town ranked number one among more than 30 public high schools in the province in the achievement test for Grade 10 in 2014 and 2015.
It was the first time the school grabbed the top spot since it was formally opened in 1998 with only two regular teachers and 46 first year high school students. Previously, it ranked No. 7 out of 33 schools in the NAT.
NAT is an annual examination for public school students throughout the country to determine their achievement level, strengths and weaknesses in key subject areas.
Chief Librarian Leilani Enopia believes that Starbooks was a factor that brought about this landmark accomplishment.
The country’s first digital science library, Starbooks has a user-friendly interface and needs no Internet connection. It contains tons of science and technology-related materials in text, audio, and video formats from local and international sources.
In 2014, Dr. Victoria B. Roman Memorial High School received two units of Starbooks from DOST.
According to Principal Felisa Bravo, more students have been going to the school library to use Starbooks for their assignments, research, and projects.
Grade 10 students Jillyn May Lagos and John Jeremy Desipida said almost all of them have used Starbooks. Desipida said Starbooks played a role in their ranking in the NAT.
“Naging helpful sa amin yung Starbooks kasi po yung mga hindi namin gaanong na-ta-tackle na nasasabi sa amin ng mga teacher namin, dyan na po namin sila nahahanap [Starbooks became helpful because through it, we were able to search for and read up on topics which our teachers told us about but which we did not tackle in class],” he said.
Lagos also related that Starbooks helped her personally when she joined the Municipal Children’s Congress – Essay Writing in English Contest.
She found in Starbooks the necessary information and prospective topic about children that she tackled in her essay. Lagos placed third among eight participants from different public and private schools in Pilar.
Her schoolmate Darlene, Grade 9, bagged the second prize. Darlene also logged into Starbooks to help her develop her story.
Starbooks has helped not only the students but the teachers as well. It is a great research tool for the teachers and parents as well.
Livelihood videos, aptly called DOSTkarte livelihood videos, are also available in Starbooks. To augment its collection, the STII staff is currently processing livelihood videos from the former Technology Resource Center for inclusion in Starbooks.
Bravo also said that their Starbooks units contain the newest additions into the digital library: disaster preparedness materials, interactive courseware, and supplement materials for K-to-12 [Kindergarten to Grade 12) program.
The upgraded kiosks also contain books, magazines, journals, scientific and research papers, Britannica Ultimate Encyclopedia, and many others related to science and technology.