Islamabad: Young enthusiastic students wowed the audience with their incredible science demonstrations and their passion for science at the first-ever Islamabad Science Festival (ISF) 2019 on Saturday.
The vibrant scientific model by a group of ninth graders explained how greenhouse gases are driving climate change, which severely threatens Pakistan in the form of floods, droughts and other natural calamities. “Solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric power can provide energy without the harmful effects create by greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming,” described Ayesha Syed, 13, a student of Islamabad Model School for Girls, IMSG, F-6/1. A few stalls away, Ronaq Rehman, 11-year-old student of grade five at IIUI Schools, had created an antenna to receive signals from the International Space Station.
Although there was diversity, most of the exhibits focused on critical issues of climate change, renewable energy and sustainable development, indicating that the youngsters are not only informed but actively pursuing ways to solve real-life problems.
Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqat, who visited each exhibit, was fascinated to see scientific models and stimulating explanations by the kids. “This demonstrates the strong interest of students in science and technology and how eager they are to solve the real challenges” he said. “The city administration aspires to focus on science and education events to provide youth with a platform to show their creative side,” he told Gulf News.
The science festival was aimed at making science fun for kids. “This is how science should be taught at school. The focus should be less on lectures and more on fun experiment to inspire our future scientists,” stressed Shafiq Ur Rehman, vice principal of Islamabad Model College for Boys (IMCB), Chak Shahzad. The event, he said, encouraged interaction, exploration and love for science.
More than 5,000 visitors, including students, teachers, scientists and engineers, attended the festival that featured science exhibits from over 50 schools and colleges and a few universities during the two-day (April 27-28) festival in Islamabad. Organised by Campaignistan with the support of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), the festival engaged students of government schools who would not typically have the chance to attend science and technology events.
The educators urged the government to provide more money to fund science labs at government schools, which educate the bulk.
“Science is one of those subjects that require our immediate and utmost attention yet somehow is overlooked by policymakers,” Haseen Fatima, a science teacher, at government school, told Gulf News. “Pakistan must realise that success of our nation depends on harnessing the power of science and technology.”
Campaignistan CEO Farhad Ahmad Jarral said the “primary aim of the festival was to engage students of government schools who otherwise do not get such opportunities to show their creativity and talent”. He was charmed by the motivation of students who exhibited their creativity in science and technology despite challenges.” Farhad said his organisation is working all across Pakistan to encourage students to consider careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
The event also offered students a chance to connect with researchers, scientists and engineers, to explore how technology, artificial intelligence and digital medicine can solve the world’s biggest challenges.
The festival included activities including hands-on activities, live scientific experiments, projects, and different sessions on science and technology.