[Part 1] Background
Langub High School is located in Barangay Langub, which is in Davao city in the Philippines. It was set up three years ago in the current primary (elementary) school grounds, and there are now classes for Grade 7-9 run by teachers seconded from nearby Ma’a High School in town.
The Overseas Community Involvement Program (OCIP) team from Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) Singapore has visited Davao 5 times over the past 3 years to run health and education programs. On 13th July 2018, 14 students from OCIP Davao and some local volunteers of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF), came together and conducted a science lesson using a paper-based microscope “Foldscope”, for students of Langub High School, some of whom are scholarship beneficiaries of our partner NGO, Sowing the Masters’ Seed Ministry (SMSM).
Based on our previous trip to Langub School in July 2017 and March 2018, we saw the rural community it was based in. Albeit filled with committed teachers, there was certainly a lack of financial resources within the school. There was a potential for an affordable, portable and versatile microscope in contributing to science education within the community of Langub High School, to stimulate students to self-directed discovery-based learning and to inspire an interest in science and engineering. Hence, we held a 1-for-1 Foldscope sale within LKCMedicine, where every Foldscope bought by our classmates (for S$6) pays for another foldscope for a Filipino student. This initiative was successful in having a total of 155 pairs of Foldscopes ordered, as our enthusiastic classmates ordered foldscopes for both themselves and their families.
The science lesson in Langub High School comprised of an after-class session in the afternoon for 48 students from both grade 7 and 9. We had sufficient donated Foldscopes to give every student a Foldscope of their own and also donate 30 extra Foldscopes to the school to empower the teachers to continue our Foldscopes program in the future. With support from the EYap lab in LKCMedicine, we were able to get microscope glass slides, glass coverslips, disposable Pasteur pipettes, centrifuge tubes and 1% methylene blue staining dye to complement the Foldscopes kits and give students the tools to create their own microscope slides.