Pax Et Lumen students in the junior high school (grades 7 to 10) are given the rare opportunity to study robotics as part of their computer science, physical science, and math-related classes.
Starting June 2015, Robotics is taught to ALL the students without exception once they step into Grade 7. Through this course the students learn to brainstorm solutions and test them; gain experience in measuring distance, circumference, rotational speed, coordinate systems, convert between decimals and fractions, program and control input and output devices, use new wireless communication technology, investigate transfer of energy, force, speed, power relationships, the effect of friction. In short, Robotics bridge the knowledge learned in mathematics and science through technology.
Pax et Lumen hopes to build a small robotics laboratory through the years.
In April, Pax started its renovation and addition of new classrooms, a big laboratory, and a Home Economics kitchen / canteen, in the third floor and improve the gym in the fourth floor. It has also started to renovate its facade with red bricks. Soon the windows of the classrooms will be changed to tinted sliding windows to allow more air conditioning efficiency and light usage.
The management of Pax wishes to thank the parents, the faculty, and the students for the inconvenience that they are going through. Photos of the new classrooms and facilities will be posted on Facebook in due time.
Korean students of Oksu School, a partner school of Pax et Lumen in Seoul, Korea tasted Philippine puto and pancit prepared by Consul General Iric Arribas of the Philippine Embassy in Seoul.
Pax et Lumen International Academy have been exchanging letters with students in English of Oksu School in Seoul. In one of the exchange of letters, their teacher requested for a recipe of a Philippine dessert. Thinking that a “puto” recipe would be easier to follow, Pax et Lumen students sent it.
The recipe was tried, but the students did not find it tasty enough. Maybe they put too much baking powder as it had a bitter aftertaste, they said. Nevertheless they displayed the “puto” recipe in the lobby of the second floor.
One day last May, Consul General Iric Arribas visited the school and saw the recipe poster. He also learned of the unsuccessful attempt to cook puto. So he asked his cook to prepare” puto” and pancit for the students! The students enjoyed the “puto” as each one asked for “one more, please” until all the pieces of “puto” were all gone. They liked the pancit, too, and tried to compare it with other noodle dishes. It was their first experience to eat the Filipino version of the Chinese inspired noodle dish.
Consul General Arribas extended an invitation to the Oksu students to visit Angeles City and to sit in the classes of Pax et Lumen and be with their Filipino pen friends from the school.
As part of its mission to train dedicated educators and future administrators, on a three- year rotating basis ( with special extended terms), the president of Pax et Lumen has designated Teacher Genesis Vital as Assistant Academic Provost in charge of coordinating admissions, grading standards, and scholarship awards starting SY 2015. Teacher Monica Vital, on the other hand, was designated as Academic Records Administrator, Student Activities Coordinator, and DepEd Liaison Officer.
Teachers Saldi Amador and Petewell Abad will continue their functions as Science Curriculum Development Coordinators, and writers- editors of Pax’s own Science Laboratories’ Manuals for Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Teacher Giordan Del Rosario will continue teaching high school special science subject modules on Science Courses for the 21st Century.
Aware that parents, grandparents, guardians, and teachers of young students need an extra hand in dealing with growing up pains among children or parenting challenges in a hectic family environment, Guidance Counselor Elinor De Leon will be there to lend a guiding hand. Teacher Elinor will also handle Values Education.
Pax et Lumen administrators, faculty, and parents, on the other side, bid ‘Fare thee well, Beloved’ to Teacher Raquel Bacani who has reached her age of retirement in May and to Teacher Leslie David who will be giving birth to (and raising) her third child soon.
The Pax community thank them for their dedicated service and wish them all the best as they enter a new phase in their lives. We wish them God’s special blessings as we look back to the ‘pioneering’ times they were at Pax.
For parents who may be wondering what their child’s job might be in the future, placing importance on their children’s math and science training is one key step that they have to make.
Pax et Lumen wants to share that robotics, self-driving car engineering, systems and quality control management are careers that even an ordinary boy and girl ( not just the so-called nerd) who wants to have an exciting or global job should consider.
For instance– more and more, cars are becoming computers on wheels. The prototype of a self-driving car is already available, manufactured by Google. It is a high end computing machine that does not need a driver to go from one place to another.
This technological wonder shows that computer services , done by computer and software engineers, may take over strategic innovations in the car manufacturing industry that used to be dominated by mechanical engineers.
Another development in the manufacturing sector is the use of robots. Welding and painting of cars are now done by robots that can be bought from robot manufacturing companies. Other manufacturers who need to automate their production can buy the robots they need from robot manufacturers. Imagine yourself working for a factory that produces robots!
Robotics is not just for the future– it has been used in various industries for more than 20 years and the use of robots is growing.
Schools like Pax et Lumen who plan to offer a Senior High School curriculum ( grades 11 and 12) focusing on STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics can prepare young students for well-paying jobs in these fields.
Starting June 2015, Pax will offer robotics for Grades 7 and 8 students. This course presents simple principles in robotics. This subject is added to the enriched math and science subjects of Pax that have longer contact hours in the classroom than what other schools have. Robotics can be fun as demonstrated during robotics olympiads in Cebu and Manila.
Pax wants to show parents in Pampanga that an ordinary but serious young girl or boy who has big dreams will be trained to help him realize his dream without having to go to a science high school. And as Pax builds its resources, intermediate robotics can be offered in a couple of years.
So we invite adventurous students with parents who have foresight to try the high school level at Pax et Lumen.
It is an unusual era in the field of education. Some concerned educational institutions like Pax et Lumen believe that as schools update the skills and knowledge base of teachers to prepare the children of the 21st century for their future, schools should also take along the parents in their children’s own education journey. Why is this so?
Today’s parents are different from their parents (now the grandparents of children of school age). Today’s parents were born right before the use of the internet and the affordability of personal computers. They had the good experience of moving from the printed age to the digital age. They were trained to read printed books and did most of their researches in the library (if they were serious students who did not want to limit their learning to the textbooks they were required to buy or rent). And while they were in their teens, they learned how to operate a computer and play some computer games. They learned how to e-mail and must have stopped using the snail mail or sending Christmas cards or birthday cards along the way. And yes, they sent text messages in good readable language or otherwise.
Now these children have become parents. Their children are given iPads to play games on (whose games– game experts say– are not as good as the games that Nintendo does to children: training them to think as they play). Their children have cell phones at an early age. So they must have learned how to write in shorter words. The reading and writing skills are not as well-developed as their grandparents’ and their parents’ at the same age. And they are more visual in their orientation. These children could also have limited concentration span when it comes to the slower “talk and chalk” method of some teachers.
Though reading and computational skills can be levelled up in school, it is the value formation and character development that present the most challenge to most schools. For these are the essential ingredients for a child to do well in the future. Busy parents do not have time to monitor their children’s learning process, so they hire tutors to guide the children along. The hiring of tutors for children who are already doing well in school is a controversial ones for educators who believe in encouraging a child to learn independently. Tutoring does bring skills enhancement; but is it not better for the child to try and do his homework by himself so that he will know where he will need more practice? Doesn’t working and studying alone bring the discipline of concentration and independent learning– much needed in a future job? Working out a problem by oneself, a teacher would say, develops patience, resourcefulness, and creativity. In short, it can help build character.
Now comes the picture of the future– how will the future look like? Definitely, there will be more people who will need the same basic needs: food shelter, clothing, leisure time, education, health care, etc. How does one provide for these ‘more’ people?
The answer, many say, is in technology which already has made living more convenient, but also more overwhelming. New gadgets mean more technological know-how. New computer programs for certain tasks means versatility to using them. Moreover, one has to deal with he amount of data that is available in the internet which is more than what an average school library can have. But because of the “velocity, volume, and variety” of data that is being shared through the internet, an ordinary person can be more informed and can make better decisions, especially if one is in the fields that need updated and complete data. These are the good side of the internet, and to a certain extent, of the social media. But there can be the bad side, too. One can be bullied not only in school but also through the internet. Negative actions can be carried out through various media that use the internet. And others do not necessarily look for the best quality sources of information and might even use the internet for base or negative activities. As one teacher once remarked: “if there is so much to learn from in the internet, why do some people behave the way the people in the 19th and 20th century behave?”
But to schools, the biggest challenge is convincing parents that learning certain skills like independent learning, logical thinking, clear communication, knowing how to do complete “staff or spade work”, learning how to work in a small group, learning how to scour the internet for the best information and data available through the use of technology– are the skills needed for the future.
It has been said by many technology and educational experts that nobody has any idea how the future jobs look like. In effect, the children of today are being trained for jobs that do not exist– yet. A study done in 2010 showed that 6 out of 10 most ‘in demand’ jobs that year showed that these did not yet exist in 2004. Related to this is the growing awareness of our labor experts that as new jobs are created, jobs also become obsolete (out of time, not needed anymore). So if you are a parent, and you want your children to survive economically or financially in 2025 and beyond, what kind of courses would you like your children to attend, or skills would you would like them to have? And what kind of a person should he be?
This is the reason why Pax et Lumen was established– to help parents find a way for their children to develop their good qualities through self-competition (and group cooperation) and develop learning skills nimble enough for them to continue learning so that they can move from one job to another as new jobs are created and as old ones are abolished. And more importantly, they are being trained to find what they can do as individuals, totally dependent only on themselves.
Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and APEC Senior Official Indicates Definite Plans to Join Academic Administration and Faculty of PAX ET LUMEN
Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for International Economic Relations and former Ambassador to India, Nepal, and Vietnam Laura Quiambao- Del Rosario shared her plans to join Pax et Lumen as an academic administrator and faculty member in less than a year.
With more than 20 years of experience as a teacher and an administrator at the former Maryknoll, now Miriam College, and as former Director General of the Foreign Service Institute, Mrs Del Rosario wants to share lessons and trends in educating a child for the future.
With masters’ degrees in literary studies and in educational administration, and with 36 years of experience in the foreign service of the country, she looks forward to doing what she calls, ‘my first and last love: educating children to learn how to learn’.
She says that though some parents and teachers equate high grades with good learning, she believes that real learning happens when a child does his learning alone and with his own initiative.
She said that as a parent, she avoided telling her children to get the highest grades they are capable of getting in class, but instead she asked them frequently what they were learning in school and what they were reading beyond school assignments. She monitored what her children brought home from the library and from bookstores, from the time her children were in grade one.
Asked why she did this, she explained: ‘The world of knowledge is expanding exponentially. What one knows now as fact can change tomorrow. Children should learn how to look for data, how to connect data, how to use data, how to think through a problem and how to evaluate information.’
It is to encourage children to achieve independent learning that Pax et Lumen gives tuition discounts to those who do well, and why Pax does not rank students academically. It is also why scholarships are given not according to who gets the highest grades in science or math or the highest in general average. Instead, small and big scholarships are given when a child reaches the level of relative excellence as shown by a grade of 90%.
A parent might think that his child deserves a higher class rank than another, but for Pax et Lumen, there are no graded ranks. What matters is: ‘Has the child achieved the level of excellence he is capable of– on his own, motivated by his own curiosity and interest?’
Only a parent can answer that question accurately, but the school can only award every achiever equally. This independent learning is what Mrs Del Rosario and the Pax faculty hope to expand as a common objective. And so ’back to school’ will Mrs Del Rosario go — soon!
The Parents- Teachers’ Association of the school plans to hold a mini-workshop on parenting in June, after the opening of classes.
Supporting the collaborative philosophy of the school on raising children–parents, administrators, and teachers working together– the mini workshop will address concerns on non-academic problems that affect academics and the learning environment of the child at home and school, relationship between parent and child, social learning, and other parents’ concerns.
The mini-workshop is meant to benefit all parents, with or without concerns with their children. It will also encourage exchanges on best practices among parents.
Teacher Elinor De Leon, a guidance counselor and psychologist with many years of experience working with children and their parents will moderate the parenting session and act as a resource person.
At the outset, Pax Et Lumen decided to make the sciences and mathematics the core of its curriculum. It follows the curriculum based on that prescribed by the Philippines’ Department of Education, but adds an additional 200 minutes per week class sessions in both the sciences and mathematics. This translates into 130 hours more for each science and math subject for the whole school year.
This may not mean much to an individual who may think that these extra hours do not really mean much especially if one is just interested in getting the minimum requirement to get a basic education certificate.
But this is just the way Pax Et Lumen is trying to level up its students so that even if the Philippine school calendar is shorter in the number of school days than a country like Japan has, its students get at least the same amount of contact hours and skill formation in the crucial subjects of science and mathematics. Moreover, as former Secretary of Science and Technology and now President of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Dr. William Padolina said: The amount of knowledge and information generated these days is greater in terms of “velocity, variety, and volume”
Pax Et Lumen also follows the spiraling method of sequencing its science topics. This means that a science topic or area is covered almost every year but this topic is enlarged and deepened as the child goes up in the academic years. And once the Pax Et Lumen student reaches Grade 7, the student gets exposed to special science topics so that the student will gain a wider knowledge and a deeper appreciation of the wonders of the creation. Pax Et Lumen’s spiritual philosophy follows the belief that God speaks to us through the wonders of nature and of the universe as a whole. And so the students get to see the wonderful works of the Creator through their studies in the sciences and mathematics. And in the process, the school hopes that the seeds of spirituality and awareness are planted in the students’ hearts and minds.
For parents’ reference, the school hereby presents the scope and sequence of the science subjects (including the special science courses) and of mathematics: