Left photo: Student interns learn how to select high-quality seeds and ensure the production of healthy seedlings through basic processing techniques during their internship. Right photo : CRERDEC Chemist Mr. Nick Rubio demonstrates the proper techniques of water quality testing for tap and distilled water to student interns.

Fifty-one senior high students from Camp 7 National High School in Minglanilla, Cebu, recently completed an 80-hour internship program at the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau – Coastal Resources and Ecotourism Research Development and Extension Center (ERDB-CRERDEC) from April 17 to May 2, 2023.

This program, anchored on a work immersion partnership agreement, aimed to provide students with essential education, valuable learning opportunities, and a glimpse into the Center’s day-to-day operations, enabling them to better prepare for future careers, employment opportunities, and advanced education in ecosystem research, development, and extension.

The program kicked off with an opening ceremony and parent meeting, where the CRERDEC staff presented an overview of the topics and activities the students would cover during the immersion period.

Parents were invited to share their opinions on relevant issues for their children’s growth and development. The discussion included the Center’s mandate, equipment and facilities, ongoing and completed projects, and services that CRERDEC can provide.

Left photo: Students assess floral diversity as part of biodiversity field practicum at the CRERDEC office. Right photo: Smiling faces as student interns and CRERDEC staff pose for a group photo after weeks of hard work and learning.

Throughout the two-week program, the technical staff of CRERDEC provided lecture presentations, guided tours of the center’s various facilities, and organized a field practicum to offer hands-on experiences.

The topics covered a wide range of subjects, from the Ridge-to-Reef Approach to Solid Waste Management; Philippine Terrestrial; Coastal and Marine Ecosystems; ENR Laws, Rules, and Regulations; Identification of Plus Trees; Seed Technology; Production and Maintenance of Quality Planting Materials; Soil and Water Sampling Analysis; Introduction to Gender and Development; Ethical Use of Social Media in Information Dissemination; Basic Principles of Presentation and Design; Science Communication; and Effective Writing.

The students eagerly embraced the different learning opportunities, including handling a water quality tester and learning about quality seed selection. The Camp 7 Senior High School Coordinator and Teacher expressed gratitude for the continued partnership with CRERDEC.

They believed that the activities would help students appreciate the environment and gain insights into work beyond the classroom.

CRERDEC Head Jose Isidro Michael T. Padin expressed his full support for the activity and encouraged students to participate in science-based research and development activities.

He highlighted that as the country’s natural resources continue to decline, more eco-warriors, educators, and scientists are needed to preserve and protect them for future generations. DBBurgos and MJJEBautista