Traversing the research process: The memento of young researchers from concept to presentation

As the Senior High School (SHS) Department of Liceo del Verbo Divino, Inc. continues to foster a strong research culture, the Scholarly Club, the service arm of the school’s Research Program, has taken the lead in organizing Session 1 of the Research Talk Series.

As the Senior High School (SHS) Department of Liceo del Verbo Divino, Inc. continues to foster a strong research culture, the Scholarly Club, the service arm of the school’s Research Program, has taken the lead in organizing Session 1 of the Research Talk Series. This series, titled 'The Memento of Young Researchers', is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the research process, from concept to presentation. The session was participated by all SHS students and was held in the AV Hall on May 14, 2024.

While this activity was put on hold for a period as it was to be undertaken last November 2023 due to unprecedented weather disturbance, its resumption was timely and fortuitous. The experiences and insights shared by the invited speakers have proven to be a boon for the students, aiding them in their preparations for the upcoming research congress and prompting them to reflect on their own research journeys in the department.

Its primary goal is to provide Senior High School students with meaningful research experiences and opportunities that will be invaluable as they transition to higher education. A unique aspect of this event is the opportunity for Grade 12 students to present their research studies in the 4th Divinians' Research Congress, and for Grade 11 students to submit their concept papers for presentation. As a supplementary activity, two former Grade 12 students were invited as plenary speakers. Their insights and experiences will undoubtedly assist them in achieving the department's research objectives.

The plenary speakers, Mr. Aj Jorich E. Guadayo and Mr. Von Jethro O. Simborio, were the leaders of Research Groups 13 and 15 last school year 2022-2023, respectively. They are now both first-year students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy at Saint Paul School of Professional Studies, Palo, Leyte. Their academic achievements and experiences, including presenting their papers at prestigious platforms such as the Creative Investigation Student Congress of the University of the Philippines High School Cebu, Lahug, Cebu City and International Research Conference, Training Workshops and Biennial Convention 2023 of the National Organization of Science Teachers and Educators Inc. (NOSTE), make them ideal mentors for the student researchers.

Aj presented their paper titled "Self-Perception of Grade 12 ABM Students in a Private Educational Institution in Tacloban City Toward Their College Readiness." His group was supervised by Mr. Edizon A. Argota and Miss Donnalyn R. Daloraya, as their research advisers. Their findings showed that the respondents perceived themselves as college-ready, which translated into their results being categorized as average upon taking a standardized test. In fact, a very weak negative correlation existed between the students' perception of their college readiness and their actual college readiness.

In his presentation of his personal journey and insights in research, he highlighted the key phases of the research process from concept paper presentation to becoming a paper presenter in research conferences. Specifically, the learning opportunities from presenting their paper and providing insights as a speaker in school-based plenary sessions. He also noted the significant role of the leader as the one that leverages and shapes the potential of the group members despite their individual weaknesses in writing and communicating.

When asked during the open forum about his unforgettable experience in research and as a group leader, he responded, "It is fulfilling to look at my group members, who tried their best to master the key points of our study and present their assigned tasks, particularly during the final oral defense. I am proud as their leader because they were able to present since they have been known by most of the Grade 12 students and teachers as least expected to participate and present."

Likewise, Von and his research adviser, Mr. Ronnie O. Daganasol, who is also the moderator of the Scholarly Club, presented their research study titled "Association Between Active Commuting to School and Academic Performance of Grade 7 Student Commuters in a Private Catholic Educational Institution." One significant finding of their study is the weak positive correlation between the academic performance of the Grade 7 student commuters and their perceived effects toward commuting. As respondents, the Grade 7 student commuters were found to be passive types of active commuting to school (ACS) and are shaped to become independent in terms of their mobility.

He represented his experiences in research to the research cycle, undertaking several steps towards completing their research paper. Initially, identifying the purpose of why he had to lead his own research group was his big question since he was not the typical student one would expect to become a leader. He took this as a challenge to overcome through various decisions and circumstances and grew into that role. Differentiating his experiences in the online and on-site modes of learning research, there were indicators he emphasized, including teacher instruction, group collaboration, and consultation. He concluded his talk by sharing his experiences presenting their paper at research conferences, which continuously improved their research paper from the experts' feedback. Research is cyclical in nature, indeed, according to Von. "Through research, relationships were formed that helped me transform myself into becoming the kind of student I could never have imagined becoming with the supervision of Sir Ronnie [his research adviser]. Sir was my research teacher and research adviser. He was once an advisee who was mentored by Dr. Joyce M. Magtolis back when he was in college, and she is now one of the validators of our research instrument. It somehow illustrates the cyclical nature of research that establishes relationships between researchers over time," he explained.

Narrating his experiences, he encouraged other students who were hesitant to take leadership roles in research. He stressed, "As I mentioned, I was once a shy person. If I were to think back three years ago, I would not even consider stepping onto this stage, especially in front of a crowd like this. I am now presenting our paper with little to no fear. I remember during my first presentation, my voice was shaking, I was stuttering, and I could not make eye contact with the audience. I was in a state of uncontrollable fear. However, after countless presentations, the fear diminishes each time I present our paper. So, when an opportunity arises, and you are afraid of what might happen, always remember that fear is a signal to seize that opportunity."

Angel Magno, a Grade 12 – Our Lady of Montserrat and one of the participants, summed up her whole experience from the plenary session as full of enriching knowledge and insights that contributed to the research experiences. She expressed, “With the help of the open forum session, we were able to ask questions to the speakers about their personal experiences in making their research paper. It allows us to exchange our thoughts, which could help us become better researchers in the future. The knowledge and experiences they shared will guide us [Grade 12 students] for the 4th Divinians’ Research Congress and inspire the Grade 11 students for their upcoming research journey.”

Ryza Mae B. Hermano, a Grade 11 student of Our Lady of Banneux and a participant, also shared similar experience that the Q&A part of the open forum was very informative to them. "We [Grade 11 students] were able to ask for some clarifications on what to avoid in the future, how to work with our groupmates smoothly, and how to create a well-organized paper," she expressed.

The closing remarks of Miss Analyn A. Geraldo, the English Subject Area Coordinator and one of the research teachers, concluded the event. She appreciated the speakers' dedication and enthusiasm for sharing their research experiences, which have always been inspiring and resonated deeply with all the participants. Their unique perspective and hard work add so much value during the open forum of the plenary session. Together, they exemplified the spirit of perseverance and passion in research that will undoubtedly inspire and motivate the students on their own research paths.

The session was moderated by Miss Johannah Maj E. Guadayo and Miss Patricia G. Ogay, members of the Scholarly Club, and concluded with awarding certificates to the speakers and a lei as a token of appreciation.