A group of researchers from the Philippine Normal University, De La Salle University, and Technological University of the Philippines have developed a high impact-proof automated study desk for pre-school children following recent consecutive earthquakes in Luzon and Visayas.
Called “LAMESA” for Life-Saving Automated Mesa to Endure Seismic Activity, the desk serves as a “a survival tool and a teaching aid to initiate ‘active’ disaster preparation,” according to PNU’s Dr. Marie Paz Morales, research team leader. This was done to help educational institutions become more prepared for quake-related disasters such as “The Big One.”
“The Big One,” a cataclysmic event that the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, has been forewarning for years, is expected to reach up to magnitude 8.5. Such massive force can substantially destroy populated areas in Metro Manila, including residential areas, businesses, and schools.
“Lamesa” or “mesa” means “table” in Filipino.
LAMESA combines technology with capacity building in terms of knowledge and infrastructure to best address such probable disaster, particularly in educational institutions.
According to the research team, they developed not only a resilient study desk for kindergartens but also a warning system when earthquakes occur, a safety infrastructure for students to use, and a learning tool to passive disaster preparation of kindergarten.
“Though we instill earthquake preparation in the curriculum or in the lessons teachers teach, this ‘passive’ preparedness may not holistically develop survival skills among the young,” said Morales. (Dhel Nazario)