Educomics Paving the Way for the Science Leaders of Tomorrow

By: Viq Ashley Alentajan

Business has always been the focus of the Junior Achievement of the Philippines, Inc. (JA PH), as a non-government organization with an advocacy of youth development. But to truly inspire the youth to succeed in the global economy, JA initiated various programs on which they could also cover students interested in Science and Technology. JA PH acknowledges the pressing concern in the field of Science-a population with very little percentage of women, but a lot of promise and potential waiting to be discovered. This is the reason why JA PH introduced one of its programs called Educomics.

EduComics is a program by JA PH, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson which aspires to show the wonder of the Science and Technology field to interested students, especially Grade 6 female students through comics. This program intends to encourage more students to ignite their passion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields in order to help them become the STEM leaders of the future.

The program was piloted in Deped-Division of Negros Occidental last April 29, 2021. It was initially planned to accommodate 10,000 students only but with the growing interest from the youth and stakeholders, EduComics was able to reach up to 13,000 Grade 6 female students in its very first year. Female speakers were also invited in the pilot launch, with Ms. Mercy Soriano, the WiSTEM 2D Youth Pillar Champion of the Philippines from Johnson & Johnson, and Ms. Audrey Pe, founder of WiTech (Philippines) and a JA Alumna, enforcing the idea that one can achieve success in science and technology, especially female students. As the program was introduced, the 4-part episodes of the first edition of the comics were released, with stories revolving around science concepts, namely, “What are Mixtures?”, “Systems of the Body”, “Ecosystems of the World”, and “Forces and Energy”. In addition, in the first year implementation of the program, JA PH converted a jeepney to a mobile EduComics Caravan vehicle used to reach far-flung areas and give the kids access to our materials.

Through this program, students are given a chance to improve their problem-solving skills, reading proficiency, and raise awareness of STEM fields in children. The quirky illustrations of the learner-centered comics exude a feel-good vibe which enhance the learning experience of Science and Technology, making it appealing and fun for the students at the same time.

“I want to learn STEM to become a Science teacher, because I want to teach children Science someday.” – Kai Angeli Balecina, a Grade 6 student said in her interview from the pilot launch.

“Ever since I was young, I have been fascinated with drawing, creating, and designing things and spaces. At age ten, things on my mind have become clearer and I’ve decided to be an architect. I believe architecture shapes how we live in our society. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and problems around the world right now, architects are still continuously working to build socially relevant spaces: from sustainability to social housing, and from public spaces and disaster relief centers. For now, I have to study harder to reach my goals in life.” – Yumi Inoue Satorre, a Grade 5 student wrote in her output for the program.

This year, the program aims to reach 18,000 Grade 6 female students across the country, and become a force in discovering the students’ potential – particularly for female students – in using science for social good, and a new generation of Filipino changemakers entering the world of science and technology with the power to excel and a purpose to live by.

With the strong partnership of JA PH and Johnson and Johnson, Educomics clears the path for our students to become the Science leaders of tomorrow!