LUNA, Apayao -- Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Peña on Tuesday said more students are now taking up tracks in senior high school that are preparatory to Science and Technology courses.

“According to the report of the Department of Education (DepEd), the number of students who became interested in Science and Technology (S&T) has significantly increased to 60 percent all throughout the years," dela Peña said during a press briefing on the sidelines of the Regional Science and Technology Week (RSTW) here on Tuesday.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are intertwining disciplines when applied in the real world. The difference of the STEM curriculum with the other strands and tracks is the focus on advanced concepts and topics, he said.

Under the track, a graduate can become a pilot, an architect, an astrophysicist, a biologist, a chemist, an engineer, a dentist, a nutritionist, a nurse, a doctor, and a lot more. Those who are also interested in Marine Engineering should also take the track.

Dela Peña also said that many of the first batches of graduates of senior high had opted to take the preparatory subjects under the STEM track, ready for college.

With the secretary’s information, the ongoing RSTW is expected to help boost the promotion of the DOST in encouraging the youth of Apayao to participate in this years' event.

The RSTW is an annual event, which has become an avenue for the region’s scientists, investors, and micro, small and medium enterprises to promote their products. It is also an avenue for the department to find excellent ventures from the region, which they showcase in the national event.

Annually brought to the different provinces in the Cordillera, RSTW is also an avenue for the DOST to promote its programs, which aim to improve the lives of the people in far-flung communities like in Apayao.

Celebrating with a theme "Science for the people: Innovation for Collective Prosperity,” the RSTW is reflective of what the DOST hopes to achieve through science, technology, and innovation.

Providing the means to upgrade the technologies of local industries, and stakeholders, dela Peña also said that with the annual celebration of RSTW, small and medium enterprises are able to have better opportunities, thus encouraging other people to participate in RSTW.

The Secretary also pointed out the DOST is hoping to use science and technology innovations to address problems being encountered by people in the countryside, which can be addressed by existing inventions and discoveries, or which are possible subjects of inventions and innovations of Filipino scientists in the country. (PNA)