May 20, 2021 – Education Chief Leonor Magtolis Briones lauded a public school teacher from the Bicol region for bagging an award from the National Geographic Society for her innovative environmental project for learners.

Ranielle Navarro, Teacher III at Albay Central School (ACS), is one of the 2021 NatGeo Award winners for breaking the limits of learning brought by the COVID-19 pandemic through her project called “A Call to Solution: Goals for Environmental Oversight (ACS Geo).”

“I would like to congratulate Ranielle Navarro, who received the National Geographic (NatGeo) Awards. I would also like to greet our teachers who are excelling everywhere both in the public and private sector,” Secretary Briones said during the EduAKSYON virtual press conference in Region V.

Navarro transformed the challenges of the remote setting into a learning opportunity for her students when she initiated the ACS Geo project intending to develop citizen scientists, journalists, and environmental leaders through digital storytelling, geocaching, and the use of digital applications like the Marine Debris Tracker.

“Allow me to share this recognition with my fellow teachers in ACS. I am only but one but with you, I will be able to deliver this activity and of course, I share this recognition to all the Filipino teachers across the country and around the globe…for your indefatigable services despite the limitations that we have due to the pandemic,” Navarro said in her message during the event.

The said tracker is “an open data citizen science movement” where students can learn about geocaching, environmental education, and action.

“Sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng NATGEO Resources gaya ng Marine Debris Tracker App, sila ay may pagkakataon na maging citizen scientists and journalists kahit sila ay nasa bahay lamang. Mas nagkakaroon sila ng exposure sa mga digital applications na mas makaka-enganyo sa kanila na magturo at matuto,” Navarro explained.

NatGeo gave Navarro ten tablets that she donated to Albay Central School. The institution will fund the ACS Geo webinar series about environmental science and digital technology featuring environmental advocates in and out of the country.

After the webinar conference, learners can improve their English Language skills as they create digital stories to compel action and solutions towards environmental issues.

“May AGS-Geo project, funded and recognized by the NatGeo, inspire you to rise above the ashes and turn every difficulty into a learning opportunity. Maaring magmukhang imposible ang mga bagay-bagay dahil sa mga balakid ngunit walang anumang pagsubok dapat ang pumigil sa ating pagkatuto at pagbabahagi ng natutuhan,” Navarro said.