Chemistry beyond the Classroom: Linking High School Chemistry with the Local Community

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In two separate co-curricular programs, the chemistry classes of a public science high school and a private girl’s high school sought to bring chemistry in action to their local communities. The students planned the programs with the local community in mind.

In the public science high school, they chose projects with their residential communities. These included fishmeal composting, plastics segregation and information awareness campaigns. The pilot program was carried out during SY 1998-99, and it has continued in partnership with the local government and community.

In the private girl’s high school, they chose to have an exhibit-workshop that would educate the community about paper and plastics.

Although these projects have been met with success in their respective localities, they are considered the exception in the Philippines. The teachers in the two case studies were crucial in the conceptualizing the projects, motivating the students, supervising the activities, and obtaining support from the school and the community. The teachers’ perseverance and enthusiasm, as well as their good relationship with their classes, showed that more than good science could be achieved when chemistry goes beyond the classroom.