Mary Jane G. Barluado | Renan P. Limjuco | Christine L Decena | Clue L Dongalo | Faten J El Sharkawy | Sharon B Melo | Ira B Romine
As a science that harnesses biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve lives, Biotechnology is globally regarded by scientists as the only sustainable solution to the universal problems of food shortage, climate change, and medical crises. Its slow growth in the Philippines is ascribed to very few universities offering Biotechnology degrees in the country. This study evaluated high school students’ knowledge and attitude on Biotechnology, and their correlation to the students’ interest to enroll in higher Biotechnology courses. Employing quantitative descriptive design and total enumeration of two Davao high schools’ Grades 8 and 9 honor sections, 254 students were surveyed using a researcher-designed and expert-validated pretest-posttest questionnaire. The results reveal below average (M=2.5) pretest overall level of knowledge of students, which increased to high (M=3.83) at posttest after an intervention seminar. In terms of attitude, both students’ pretest and posttest exhibit very high overall mean (4.1 and 4.4, respectively) indicating their strong approval of Biotechnology and its applications. Using Spearman’s rho statistical test, pretest and posttest data revealed no correlation between the respondents’ biotechnology knowledge and interest for the course. However, between their attitude and interest, significant moderate correlation are detected at both pretest (r = .317, p <.05) and posttest (r = .283, p <.05). These findings demonstrate a need to intensify promotion of the field in general education with concomitant biotechnology course and curricular offerings in higher education.