A two-day Laar Science festival held at Thatta’s Sports Complex admiring the talent of students in science and technology being organised by Thar Education Alliance (TEA), Campaignistan, and Laar Education Campaign with the support of District Government of Thatta, the festival reached rural students who would not typically have the chance to attend science and technology events.
The theme of Science event was ‘climate change’ as Pakistan has been ranked seventh most vulnerable country. To raise public awareness on the effects of climate change, the event was held in Sindh province, which is vulnerable to increased intensity of extreme weather events such as frequent floods and droughts.
The science fest promoted a culture of post-mortem and hands-on learning in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) subjects. In the Science festival the elevated altitude of participation by the students was a clear indication of their interest in utilizing everyday science to work towards solving issues in their towns and cities.
A large number of Students, teachers, entrepreneurs, science specialists and government officials attended the event including Dr Nawaz Sogho, Deputy Commissioner of Thatta, Senator Sassui Palijo from Thatta district, Sindh’s Minister of Science and Technology Taimur Talpur.
Junaid Ahmad Dahar, CEO of Sindh Education Alliance said that it’s amazing to see the scientific spirit in the ancient city of Thatta famous for its archaeological, cultural sites and the seat of three successive dynasties.
Campaignistan CEO Farhad Ahmad Jarral said: “We live in a digital age, where there is need to connect online and offline to bring change in the education discourse. The festival was appreciated by thousands online and sparked interest among students in other regions of Pakistan when the pictures and videos of students of Thatta were shared online.”
Laar Science Festival included activities including hands-on activities, live scientific experiments, projects, tests and different sessions on climate change by Afia Salam of Indus Earth Trust, Manzoor Soomro of Economic Cooperation Organisation Science Foundation (ECOSF), Mohammad Ali Shah of Fisher Folk, Nasir Pawar an environmentalist, Tufail of Sindh University (Badin), Dr Bhikaram of LUMHS and Dr Bhawani Shankar of Mehran University as well as organisations including Stemmers, Robotech, Pakistan Science Club, Ilm-e-Neroon and Pakistan Science Foundation.
Young scientists exhibited projects on solar panels, windmills, water purification, offering innovative solutions to climate change. Speakers at the festival said maths and science education were critical in developing the intellectual activity in children as nations have used maths and science to empower their citizens with higher incomes, and to help grow their economies.