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A young student is all smiles as he interacts with a science model at a stall.—Dawn
A young student is all smiles as he interacts with a science model at a stall.—Dawn

MITHI: More than 15,000 students from over 100 government and private schools and science enthusiasts visited the two-day first ever ‘Thar Science Festival’ that concluded at the Shaheed Benazir Cultural Complex here on Thursday.

The festival was jointly organised by Thar Edu­cation Alliance (TEA), Alif Ailaan and Thar education department’s office of chief monitoring officer (CMO).

TEA’s Partab Shivani and CMO Samiullah Sanj­rani told journalists that the largest science festival held for the first time ever in Thar was a shining example for all district administrations across the country to replicate it in their areas.

“Such events are especially important to familiarise school administrations, teachers and students with unique ways to teach and understand basic science concepts in an interesting and engaging manner,” they said.

They said that it was a pleasant shock for them to see unprecedented response from students of the area, considered to be one of the most backward regions of the country.

Students from all over Thar set up over 100 stalls to showcase their creative works on different themes and aspects of science, they said.

The students expressed their joy and gratitude for getting an opportunity to display their innovative products.

Some of the popular exhi­bits included planetarium by Pakistan Science Foun­dation, a fruit piano created by Learn-o-Bots and a mental arithmetic exercise conducted by Robotech.

The girl students from Bright Future School and Lata Shah from Government Primary School, North Colony Mithi, surprised the visitors with their knowledge about hydraulics and water filters, respectively. Abdul Rehman of class four was the star of the festival, attracting large audiences, for explaining Pythagoras Theorem in an interesting manner.

Several renowned personalities including Dr Bee­kha Ram, vice chancellor of the Liaquat University of Medi­cal and Health Scie­nces, visited the stalls and praised the festival organisers and students.

At a session for career counselling Dr Beekha Ram spoke about medical science, noted activist from Islamabad Meena Gabina talked about women education and the challenges Thari women were faced with and the first barrister from Thar lectured on law and urged participants to study law.

The organisers gave away awards including eight laptops, 31 tablets, mobile phones and cash awards to 160 students, who had clinched top three positions in a mathematics test held on Jan 20.

Army Public School, Mithi, grabbed the first position for setting up the most beautiful stall, while a local trader, Partab Lakh­wani, gave a gold medal to the student who had decorated the stall.

The other students, who won top positions inclu­ded Eshwar Lal, Asadullah, Gur­iya, Pirachi, Imtiaz Ali Ra­jar, Uzma, Naqqash, Ra­­bia, Ajmal, Moomal, Anusha and Mohen Lal.

Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also praised the festival in his tweet, saying: “The festival is a wonderful initiative that allows the children of Thar to learn and engage with science in a practical way.

“My heartfelt gratitude and congratulations go to everyone who has made it possible.”

Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2018