Bb. Pilipinas International 2021 Hannah Arnold explains why STEM education is important

Published August 26, 2021, 6:35 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

“I believe that those modern-day heroes are in the fields of STEM.”

Bb. Pilipinas International 2021 Hannah Arnold (Screenshot from DOST-PCIEERD Facebook page)

This was stressed by Bb. Pilipinas International 2021 Hannah Arnold in her message during the fourth leg of Science and Innovation Budding Opportunities for Leverage (SIBOL) forum organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) on Thursday, Aug. 26.

She cited the need for the Philippine government to invest in science and technology.

“My love for the lab, wearing my lab coat, goggles and the smell of the chemicals will never disappear. I will proudly continue to raise the science, technology engineering and mathematics flag,” she said.

Arnold, 24, is a graduate of Applied Science in Forensic Studies at the University of Canberra.

She said students should be encouraged to “become scientists and take up science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses and together we can prevent another pandemic.”

“This pandemic truly shone an even greatest spotlight on science. The developments we see today because of the scientists who shouldered the responsibility of informing the public of the dangers of COVID-19; the vaccines that are saving lives and preventing symptoms because of the scientists; and the new smart technologies that allow us to adjust the new protocols, communicate , educate and learn in the new normal because of those in the field of the technology,” Arnold said.

She said STEM will continue to play a vital role in our lives even after the coronavirus pandemic.

“Fast building a strong foundation now will set our country up for success for the remainder of 2021 and beyond. Science will help us improve our critical thinking as we discover the world around us. Technology will prepare us to be in a high-tech, innovative environment. Engineering will allow us to improve our problem solving skill and apply this to new projects in the community. Mathematics will enable us to analyze information and make conscious decisions when creating solutions for all.”

“STEM education brings a valuable contribution to our society and will prepare to transform areas of concern with innovation and sustainable solutions,” she stressed.

For Arnold, the people in fields of STEM, including the country’s researchers and scientists can be considered as modern-day heroes.

“Let us convince everyone, especially the younger generations and those in power, that science and technology will help us out of this darkness. Let us inspire confidence and belief in the future,” she said.

“Now more than ever, the Philippines longs for modern-day heroes and leaders who will work towards genuine and sustainable development.”

Arnold shared that her love for science started at the age of seven when she saw doctor in the hospital helping her sick grandfather.

“When my grandfather became unwell, I saw the doctor in the hospital working hard to help him. So at the age of seven, I wanted to be a doctor helping my family and community, this dream stayed with me until high school where in science class I had a sudden fire in my eyes,” she said.

The beauty queen said while she was not the greatest student in her science classes, she found joy, “especially when combining chemicals , and seeing, smelling or feeling a reaction take place.”

“One thing that I love about is the fields of study within, because it is really an open field with new branches emerging.”

She expressed gratitude to DOST-PCIEERD for standing with her “in encouraging people of all genders, ages to consider a pathway into science and technology.”

Arnold said she is looking forward to having future collaboration with DOST-PCIEERD “to improve awareness of STEM, and help people appreciate and recognize the importance of STEM.”

“I hope my message will inspire another seven-year-old girl to become a scientist too,” she said.

“Behind the sash and crown, I do have a science lab coat also.”