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Women of Science

a series of children's books features stories from the careers of some of the Philippines' most respected female scientists. It is hoped that these stories find their way into the hearts and minds of our young girls in particular, to spark in them the curiosity and wonder that may lead them to becoming women of science themselves. This series was made possible by the National Book Development Board through its National Book Development Trust Fund Program and its subcommittee on Gender Studies.

The author’s clear-cut criteria in choosing her subjects are as awe-inspiring as the narratives: The scientist must be an internationally respected scholar and must have published scientific articles; she is making a clear contribution to her field of specialization; and she has played a leadership role in her academic life. The most important point of all, especially because the opportunities for research are more encouraged and supported overseas, is that this scientist works in the Philippines.

The choice of women scientists is deliberate, with the author’s awareness that there are few women who enter STEAM, or the fields of science, technology, engineering, agriculture, and mathematics. That makes this segment of the population a wealth of untapped talent and resource. Thus, the Women of Science series aims to inspire and encourage the younger generation to seriously consider careers in research and science. Rodrigo herself is a computer science professor at Ateneo de Manila and has special research interests in artificial intelligence in education, educational data mining, and affective computing.

She is also the author of children’s books, among them the Kid’s Choice winner of the National Children’s Book Awards, “Made Perfect in Weakness,” the extraordinary story of Roselle Ambubuyog, the first visually impaired Filipino woman to earn summa cum laude honors at Ateneo.

Women of Science Launch

The Bookmark, Inc. recently launched the new series of children's books, the Women of Science written by Didith Tan-Rodrigo. The launch was held last June 20, Tuesday, 5:00 in the afternoon at the 5/F Ateneo Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

The books in the series are: Beyond the Storm: A Story about Gemma Narisma, Illustrated by George Vincent Bien; Random Walks: A Story about Jinky Bornales, Illustrated by Jonathan Rañola; Mangrove Warrior: A Story about Jurgenne Primavera, illustrated by Tris Lintag; The Stuff of Life: A Story about Giselle Concepcion, illustrated by Ma. Montessa Montinola; Treasure from Trash: A Story about Evelyn Taboada, illustrated by Eveth Nocon; Cave Dweller: A Story about Ging Nuñeza, illustrated by Gabi Mara; Chemical Romance: A Story about Connie Ragasa, Illustrated by Works of Heart; Rigid Motion: A Story about Ninette De Las Peñas; Gardener of the Sea: A Story about Nida Calumpong, illustrated by Corn Golez; Capturing Flights: A Story about Nina Ingle, illustrated by George Vincent Bien.

Guests had their books signed by the author, illustrators, and the women of science featured in the books.

Invited guest, The Vice-President of the Philippines, Leni Robredo has a prior commitment and not able to attend the launch but sent a video message.

Featured women of science present were Dr. Nina Ingle, Dr. Hilconida Calumpong, Dr. Connie Ragasa, Dr. Ninette De Las Peñas, Dr. Gemma Narisma, and Dr. Jurgenne Primavera was represented by her twin sister Jurgette Honculada.

Artists present were Mon Realista, Gabi Dimaranan, Mika Aldaba, Joreen and Roxanne Navarro of Work of Hearts. Roxanne decided not to join the artists corner.