Through a United States government-funded grant, 24 Pakistani students from three schools in Karachi are currently participating in the US Space and Rocket Center’s Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.
The US Consulate General Karachi collaborated with its implementing partner — The Dawood Foundation’s (TDF) MagnifiScience Centre — to promote and expand science, technology, engineering & mathematics (STEM) education in 50 schools in Karachi.
This US grant was comprised of three components: STEM training for 100 Pakistani teachers, educational field trips of over 1,000 students to the MagnifiScience Centre, and a culminating science project competition.
This US grant aimed to galvanise an increase in STEM education and encourage Karachi schools to allocate more resources to train staff that will enhance learning outcomes.
In turn, students will be motivated to pursue careers in science fields, thereby meeting the increasing demand for STEM graduates in industry, academia and research.
The US has an ongoing commitment to supporting STEM education in Pakistan through many past and varied educational programmes, including sending cohorts of Pakistani students to Space Camp in 2011 and 2015.
The US supports inclusive STEM education, green technologies and entrepreneurship for young people around the world to sustainably develop their own countries’ economies and communities.
US Consul General Nicole Theriot remarked: “I am thrilled that we were able to send such bright and talented young students to Space Camp in the United States as a reward for their creativity and commitment to further developing Pakistan through green technologies and entrepreneurship.
“We are proud to promote the US-Pakistan ‘Green Alliance’ framework, focused on supporting Pakistan as it strengthens climate resilience, pursues energy transformation, and fosters inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
“I’m confident these students will continue to grow in their education and make important contributions to Pakistan — and the world — to help meet the pressing needs of the present and future!”
The inter-school competition was organised around the topic of eco-sustainability and entrepreneurship, and science kits were issued to all of the schools’ competing teams to use as a resource.
Eight students and one teacher from three schools were selected by a panel of judges for their winning projects, and all three teams, totalling 24 students and their three teachers, recently travelled to Huntsville, Alabama, to participate in Space Camp.
The three winning science projects were a synergistic effort among each team member’s contributions through co-equal brainstorming, cooperation and collaboration that produced these impressive results:
KMA Girls & Boys Primary School’s team: ‘Chicken Feathers — Go Green Before the Green Goes’. Through their project, chicken feathers were used to create paper.
Evergreen Elementary School’s team: ‘Anti-Sleep Glasses’. Through their project, anti-sleep glasses were developed with a built-in alarm that helps reduce the incidence of vehicle accidents caused by driver fatigue.
KMA Boys Secondary School’s team: ‘Plastic Road’. Though this project, waste plastic is used to create roads that can have a life span of 50+ years.
TDF is a not-for-profit family foundation based in Karachi. It works to empower individuals through education to create social change. TDF has been working in Pakistan since the 1960s, and has been greatly involved in establishing various formal and informal educational institutions across the country.
TDF’s informal learning initiatives include popularising science through TDF MagnifiScience, raising awareness about the environment through TDF Nature Series, and promoting heritage conservation through TDF Ghar.
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