Cebu Normal University (CNU) educators imparted the relevance of sciences and mathematics in the new normal through the sixth session of Higher Education Connect (HEdConnect).
The HEdConnect 6 was organized by the CNU College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) School of Sciences with the combined efforts of the three departments – Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and Mathematics Department.

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The webinar, themed Science and Mathematics Roles in the New Normal, was live-streamed via the Zoom platform and CNU Facebook page last Friday, September 18, 2020. 

The speakers of HEdConnect 6 consisted of faculty experts from the CNU CAS-School of Sciences which include Prof. Edward Laurence Opena, Prof. Clare Maristela Galon, Dr. Cris Armada, and Dr. Roderick Misa.

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Opena talked on Viral Infections and the Immune System and discussed about viruses – how viruses infect cells, the body’s response to viral infections, and viral infections in the new normal. 

He said that with the current situation brought by the pandemic, people now are better informed about viral infections; sanitary practices are now more observed; the environment is seriously considered; and health care workers, farmers, and other frontliners are appreciated. 

He also said that with COVID-19, people now understand how science is inevitably an important component of society. He thinks that it is time for the government to push for stronger science programs.
Opena also dedicated his talk to his grandfather Loreto Opena who died last September 16 due to the pandemic.
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Galon dwelled her discussion on Science and Mathematics in Action During the Pandemic and shared programs conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), its different Regional Offices, departments, and partner Local Government Units (LGU’s).

She shared the responses of the science community in the pandemic terms of production, simulation and modeling applications, communication, and more.  
These include the production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like face shields, antimicrobial soaps, hand mists, disinfection unit, ventilator parts, testing booths; simulation and modeling applications through new technologies, online innovations such as contact tracing applications and systems, personal health assessment and monitoring tools; and communication through virtual pressers and digital broadcasting, digital science library, webinars, and the like.

Galon started and ended her talk relating the efforts of the science and mathematics experts to “bayanihan” as a concerted effort to help end or mitigate the distress caused by the pandemic. 

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Armada discussed Graph Theory in the New Normal World and shared ways to exercise the graph model with theoretical and practical aspects to control the pandemic.  

He differentiated the four types of virus graphs which include virus graphs I, II, III, and IV.

Armada said that the graph theory approach helps people to understand and visualize the disease, its impact, and how it spreads. 

He said that the graph theory model plays a vital role to understand the outbreak of COVID-19. He said that by applying different aspects of mathematics, the world’s universal problems can be resolved. 

Misa, the last of the four speakers, discussed Mathematics Teaching in the New Normal with the help of Desmos, a web application to aid teachers with their virtual discussion and help students learn and love math.   

He said that he recommends the use of Desmos because aside from it is free, the application energizes discussion, empowers students, eliminates barriers into the entry of students, and extends access to students.  

Misa then shared sample discussions and demonstrated the application for elementary, junior high, senior high, and college students. 

Lastly, he shared Math Art, an engaging and attractive approach for teaching mathematical concepts to students with the use of design, patterns, and color.   

A full recording of HEdConnect 6 can be viewed in the CNU official Facebook page. (JDF)