SWAT:  Hundreds of students from around 100 government schools and science enthusiasts attended the two-day science festival which concluded here at the Khadee Hall in Saidu Sharif Swat on Wednesday. The festival was jointly organized by Udhyaana, Deputy Commissioner Office, District Government, Swat Education Department and Pakistan Alliance for Maths and Science.

A press release issued here on Wednesday said that students had set up over 150 stalls to showcase their creative exhibits on different themes and aspects of science. Many students had designed their models based on solutions required to fix Swat’s urgent problems such as road infrastructure, electricity supply and water management. This was a clear indication of the interest children of Swat have to use everyday science to take care of issues in the development of their cities.

During the closing ceremony, former Member of Parliament Bushra Gohar emphasized on the need for local administrators to invest more in STEM education, especially for girls and encouraged teachers and providers to help children explore various dimensions of science so that the solutions and models they presented at the forum could be practically implemented.

Dr Jawad Iqbal of Udhyaana requested the government to provide teachers with the latest digital tools and training to help them improve their science instruction in classes, and work on updating the content in school syllabi so Swat’s children are able to compete at international education forums. Deputy Commissioner Swat Shahid Mehmood announced to establish science labs in all government schools of Swat and promised to arrange science festivals of this scale every year.

Prizes were distributed to schools’ headmasters and students by Bushra Gohar, former MNA Jameela Ahmad and former provincial minister Wajid Ali Khan in five categories: primary, middle, high, higher-secondary and college level.

The organisers also thanked the six science organisations, namely Pakistan Science Club, AZCorp, Numerica, Sabaq, Learn-o-Bots and Stemmers, that captured the attention of children through various hands-on science and maths activities and storytelling sessions throughout the two days.