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24 Pakistani students from Karachi participate in US space camp | The Express Tribune



Thanks to a US government-funded grant, 24 Pakistani students, both male and female, from three schools in Karachi are currently taking part in the US Space and Rocket Center’s prestigious Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

This initiative aims to promote and expand Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in Karachi schools. The US Consulate General in Karachi collaborated with The Dawood Foundation’s (TDF) MagnifiScience Centre, the implementing partner, to facilitate this programme in 50 schools across the city.

The US grant encompassed three key components: STEM training for 100 Pakistani teachers, educational field trips for over 1,000 students to the MagnifiScience Centre, and a culminating science project competition.

The primary objective of this grant was to stimulate an increase in STEM education and encourage schools in Karachi to allocate more resources toward training their staff, thereby enhancing learning outcomes. The aim is to motivate students to pursue careers in science-related fields, meeting the growing demand for STEM graduates in industry, academia, and research.

The United States has consistently shown commitment to supporting STEM education in Pakistan through various educational programmes. This includes previous initiatives such as sending cohorts of Pakistani students to Space Camp in 2011 and 2015. The United States emphasises inclusive STEM education, green technologies, and entrepreneurship for young individuals worldwide, as a means to foster sustainable economic growth within their own countries.

Consul General Nicole Theriot expressed her delight, stating, “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 revolved around the theme of eco-sustainability and entrepreneurship. Each competing team was provided with science kits as a resource. A panel of judges selected eight students and one teacher from three schools based on their outstanding projects. These three winning teams, consisting of 24 students and their three teachers, recently traveled to Huntsville, Alabama to participate in Space Camp. The winning science projects demonstrated the remarkable results achieved through collaborative efforts, brainstorming, and cooperation among team members.

The winning projects and teams are as follows:

  1. KMA Girls & Boys Primary School’s team: “Chicken Feathers – Go Green before the Green Goes.” The project involved using chicken feathers to create paper.
  2. Evergreen Elementary School’s team: “Anti-Sleep Glasses.” Their project focused on developing glasses with a built-in alarm to reduce vehicle accidents caused by driver fatigue.
  3. KMA Boys Secondary School’s team: “Plastic Road.” This project explored the use of waste plastic to create roads with a lifespan of 50+ years.

The Dawood Foundation (TDF) is a Karachi-based non-profit family foundation that works to empower individuals through education to drive social change. Since the 1960s, TDF has been actively involved in establishing various formal and informal educational institutions throughout Pakistan. TDF’s informal learning initiatives include popularising science through TDF MagnifiScience, raising environmental awareness through TDF Nature Series, and promoting heritage conservation through TDF Ghar.

The participation of Pakistani students in the US Space Camp not only provides them with a unique educational opportunity but also reinforces the importance of STEM education in Pakistan. It encourages students to explore innovative solutions and fosters their interest in scientific fields. Such initiatives contribute to the overall development and progress of the students, schools, and the nation as a whole.

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