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  • Writer's pictureSTEM Warriors Philippines

Practical STEM at Work: Innovation Tour and Design Thinking Workshop

In partnership with 3M Philippines, Mano Amiga continues to strengthen STEM education beyond the classroom through the Innovation Tour and Design Thinking workshop at the 3M Innovation Hub. The goal of the tour and the workshop is to widen the perspective of students about STEM by showing them how 3M innovates its products and services, and by simulating this through the workshop.

There were around 30 High School to College students from 4 different schools in the Metro who joined the program. Fria Racoma, 3M’s Shopper Marketing Lead and the Head of the Education Committee in 3M Gives, welcomed the participants and talked about 3M. She shared that we are never 3 meters away from a 3M product and emphasized that mistakes are an inevitable part of life and learning, including in the journey towards innovation, but what is important is how we move forward. Fria ended with a quote by William McKnight, a key figure in the success of 3M.

Mistakes will be made, but we will do better next time. -William McKnight

The Innovation Tour showed what a day for a 3M employee would be like. The participants were able to visit different divisions, test the products 3M is innovating, and see that 3M was more than just post-its or school supplies. The participants learned so much from the tour and enjoyed interacting with the engineers and specialists for each division. It was a practical experience for everyone to see how STEM is applied and used for the good of the community.

The Design Thinking workshop was also a favorite among the participants. It gave them the tools needed to understand how design thinking works and how it is an important mindset toward innovation. Jaybee Borromeo, a 3M Global Applications Engineer specialist, emphasized that 3M values empathy towards its users. They study their situation and understand where they are coming from so that better products can be innovated and created that would match the needs of the community. The participants were given the opportunity to work together to come up with a solution to the problems assigned to their groups. They collaborated, created prototypes, tested them, and received feedback. It was a day that grounded important foundational skills in STEM that they can use in their everyday lives.

The highlight of the program was the message by Reggie Pulumbarit, the 3M Vice President of Global Service Center PH and the Managing Director of PH and SEA Region. He shared the importance of flexibility and purpose, and that it is alright if there are things that we could not figure out yet. There is time to learn, try new things, and find purpose. He ended his talk with this very inspiring message to the students.

There is never a perfect choice right now. You just have to keep learning all the way. Find out the purpose why you are doing this and hopefully it has more meaning and more impact. Be agile and anchor it on good purpose. Whatever happens, you will then find a better meaning in life. Don't feel too pressured. You will be fine, you will be okay. -Reggie Pulumbarit

The program ended with 3M Philippines Head of Human Resources Sookie Chiongban uplifting the students to always have a mindset of openness and collaboration, and to always give back to the community.

The tour and workshop provided a platform for the students to have a deeper understanding of the applications of STEM in the workplace and that innovations take time for breakthroughs to happen. It gave them a glimpse of what STEM would be like once they enter the workforce.

It is programs like this that give students the needed motivation and inspiration as they continue to pursue their dreams in STEM. We hope that more will be encouraged to take up STEM in the future. We thank 3M Philippines for their partnership in this program.

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