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Over 1,000 students take part in DNA extraction at Swat festival

April 18, 2018

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Students take part in DNA extraction at the Swat Science Festival on Tuesday. — Dawn
Students take part in DNA extraction at the Swat Science Festival on Tuesday. — Dawn

MINGORA: About 1,000 students took part in DNA extraction and formation of DNA model on the first day of Swat Science Festival here on Tuesday.

The two-day festival, organised by Udhyaana, Pakistan Alliance for Maths and Science, Alif Ailaan, district education department and Swat district administration.

The event attracted about 6,500 students including 1,500 girls and 5,000 boys from various public and private schools.

Scientist says they couldn’t break world record due to shortage of space

Malakand Commissioner Zaheerul Islam, DIG Akhtar Hayat Khan and Swat Deputy Commissioner Shahid Mehmood inaugurated the event. All the assistant commissioners, officials of education department, teachers and parents were also present on the occasion.

More than 1,000 students along with 16 scientists extracted DNA from strawberry and then they formed DNA model.

“We attempted to make world record of DNA extraction and invited over 3,000 students but we could not break the world record due to shortage of space. However, we managed to make national record of DNA extraction by involving over 1,000 students,” said Dr Mohammad Ilyas, a professor of genetics in Hazara University. He was part of the scientists’ team in the festival.

The students said that they felt proud to be part of the activity.

They said that it was the first time in their lives to meet scientists and learn from them.

“It was not only a DNA extraction experiment but a multi-beneficial opportunity for me as I practically did the experiment of DNA extraction on strawberry, met talented students and learnt many complicated things from scientists, who guided us,” said Abdul Basit Khan, a medical science student.

Boys and girls from various schools set up more than 100 stalls at the festival where they displayed their models featuring biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, robotics, computer science and many other subjects.

Interactive displays and live experiments, some of which involved robotics, hydraulics, electrical circuits and easy-to-understand mathematic guides, were conducted by the students and six organisations including Learn-o-Bots, Stemmers, Numerica, Pakistan Science Club, AZ Corps and Sabaq.

Visitors appreciated the event and expected that the government and other related organisations would organise such events on regular basis.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2018