Participants in the 5th ASEAN Plus Three Junior Odyssey or APTJSO climbed up the Makiling Botanical Garden in the University of the Philippines Los Baños for a tree planting activity as their own little way of helping Mother Earth cope with climate change.
With the theme “Climate Change and the Rainforest,” the 5th APTJSO—an annual international competition among youth who are gifted in science—saw participants from the ASEAN region and from Sweden, Korea, and China.
“Most of the kids have not been to the forest or the real rainforest, so this is time for them to experience what it is like to be in the forest,” Ruby Cristobal of Department of Science and Technology’s Science Education Institute said.
“At the same time, the activity enables the students to contribute to enriching this resource, which is slowly being affected by climate change,” she added.
Another activity on the second day of the activity involved data collection by country teams and field exposure for mixed groups. Participants collected data for the ‘laboratory skills assessment’ component of the competition with three subject areas namely biology, chemistry, and physics.
Over all, Cristobal sees the activity as an eye opener for the ASEAN student.
“The purpose of the activities is to make the students more conscious or aware of what the problems in the rainforest are and what solutions the rainforest can offer. And additionally, to identify what projects can be done in their level as students,” Cristobal finally noted.