Science Demos and Workshops thrilled Students/Children and Families during MLLF-2020 in Islamabad Pakistan

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ECOSF organizes different scientific activities in its Member Countries throughout the year for realization of its mandate. In this regard, the Foundation in collaboration with Pakistan Science Club (PSC), Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF), Pak Alliance for Maths and Science (PAMS) organized various scientific activities for students/kids and families during the Mother Languages Literature Festival (MLLF) on 22-23 February 2020 at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), Islamabad, Pakistan. It is pertinent to mention that MLLF is organized every year by the Indus Cultural Forum (ICF) since 2017 to promote literature in mother languages in Pakistan and ECOSF has all along been one of the supporters/partners of ICF for organization of MLLF. Accordingly the scientific activities have been arranged during MLLF every year to promote understanding of science and technology in local languages and to promote science culture. 

The scientific activities on 22-23 February; comprised of demonstrations, workshops, science bus and planetarium show. In two days, following activities were demonstrated:

  • Spinning Eggs: It is a challenge to find out whether the egg is boiled or not without breaking them.
  • Fun with Inertia: It is a captivating challenge to drag a currency note placed between two glass bottles without dropping them.
  • Mentos geyser: An enormous jet is formed when Mentos are dropped into the soda drink defining the process of nucleation.
  • Burst Balloon with Lemon Juice: The demonstration explains the properties of acid and how it reacts with other substances.
  • Balance Stick: It is a challenge in which participant tries to balance the stick on one finger.
  • Hydrogen Bubble: It is carried out in a safe way to show explosive nature of hydrogen gas.
  • Air Vortices: The demonstration describes the Bernoulli principle to show the relation between speed and pressure of the fluid.
  • Vanishing water: This activity explains super absorbance of a polymer commonly used in diapers.
  • Elephant Toothpaste: It explains basic reactions of chemistry by creating large foams and trapping oxygen in soap bubbles.
  • Weighs the unknown: The activity helps to learn about the properties of an unknown gas by doing simple experiments.

Workshops were also conducted for children to develop elastic or balloon powered cars. The children along with their parents were invited and provided with all the materials to make the cars. The interest and enthusiasm of the participants in making the cars were worth watching. The kids of a family from Azerbaijan Embassy also participated in the workshop.

Like previous years, this year (2020), a large number of students/children and their parents from Islamabad, Rawalpindi and surrounding areas participated in the activities. The families from diplomatic community especially Azerbaijan and Turkey also attended the activities.

The engagement of children in the activities was amazing and the feedback was very encouraging. The participants especially the parents demanded to organize more such activities so that the children/students may be motivated to take science as their career.

To mark the International Day of Mother Languages on 21 February 2020, an opening ceremony of MLLF-2020 was held at PNCA to mark the; wherein around 500 people joined. During the opening session, Director General of PNCA Dr. Fouzia Saeed welcomed all the distinguished guests whereas; the Chairperson of ICF Mr. Niaz Nadeem highlighted the activities of ICF with reference to mother languages and literary workin mother languages of Pakistan. Ms. Zubaida Mustafa- an educationist, writer and proponent of literature in mother languages, was the keynote speaker and she while appreciating the initiative, spoke on the importance of mother languages for quality education across the world. She also acknowledged the efforts of promoting the understanding of science in mother languages.

President ECOSF Prof. Manzoor Soomro also addressed the opening session and said that science and technology is the key for economic development of any society and science can best be learnt and understood in mother languages. He further said that it is not mandatory that if we learn science in English then we can excel but we have examples of many countries in the world such as; France, China, Japan, Korea, Iran, etc. who learn science in their own languages and their development is exemplary. Thus we should encourage learning of science in mother languages; through which, mother languages will also be promoted.

After the opening session, for the next two days, sessions on various aspects of mother languages were discussed, a number of books of prose and poetry in local languages were launched and music by local language artists was played. Books meant for children by different Foundations were also displayed and distributed.

Some glimpses of the hand-on science activities for children are shared hereunder.

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