Where are you from:
Where do you work:
University of the Philippines Los Banos
When did you first learn about GTTP:
During the International Year of Astronomy. However, I became involved only on 2011, after the Asia Pacific Regional IAU Meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
What was the first GTTP workshop you took part in:
The first GTTP workshop I participated in was the training seminar we conducted here in the Philippines last April 2012.
Why did you decide to organise GTTP workshops for local teachers/educators:
One of the usual problems that we encounter with teachers in the Philippines is the lack of knowledge in astronomy. We talked to them and a lot of them said that they wanted to teach astronomy bu they do not know what to teach and how. In addition, there are very few professional astronomers in the Philippines. It would be very difficult for the less than a handful astronomers to teach all the students in the Philippines. By training the teachers themselves, there is a factor of multiplication. Training 30 teachers in a GTTP workshop seems small. But when you realize that each of these 30 teachers will teach 30 students each per year, then it doesn’t seem so small. Also, we believe that teachers would know what is the best scenario for them in their school. By empowering educators themselves, they would be more enthusiastic and dedicated to promoting astronomy even in areas where we cannot normally go to.
What tools/methods do you use in your training sessions:
Due to the vast differences in the capabilities of a school, we use various tools and methods. We divided them into three: a back-to-basics approach which utilizes easily available materials, an ICT approach which uses computers/internet and a technological approach which uses telescopes. The teachers are trained in all three approaches but it would be up to them to determine which one would be the most appropriate for their schools.
Advice for teachers out there:
For teachers, do not be afraid to explore new techniques and ideas in teaching astronomy. There are always people in GTTP who are willing to help you out. Talk to your nearest GTTP ambassador or to someone from the university. The GTTP is always here to lend a hand in promoting astronomy education!
Tips for other GTTP ambassadors around the world:
My advice to GTTP ambassadors is that we share our experiences and continue our work in empowering educators worldwide. At times it seems frustrating but we should always think of the lives and communities that we are changing. Education is still the best legacy that we can give to the future generations. Continue our work with the knowledge that there are a lot of us out there who are trying to make the world a better place, in our own little ways.