Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) has the mandate to popularize and promote science at grassroot level in the country. Capacity-building of Pakistani youth and sponsoring them for participation in international scientific events is one of the important activities of the Foundation. PSF, being a focal organization for Asian Science Camp (ASC), coordinated with the organizers of the Camp for participation of Pakistani students in ASC-15. This year ASC was organized at Pathumthani, Thailand.
The idea of ASC was proposed after the Lindau Science Meeting 2005 by Prof. Yaun-Tseh Lee, the 1986 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and Prof. Masatushi Koshiba 2002 Nobel Laureate in Physics to enlighten Science Talented Youth. The ASC International Advisory Committee approved that Thailand should host the ASC in 2015. ASC-2015 was 9th in the series. Following successful camp at Taipei (2007), Bali (2008), Tsukuba (2009), Mumbai (2010), Daijeon (2011), Jerusalem (2012), Tasukuba (2013) and Singapore 2014, the Asian Science Camp 2015 was held from August 2 to 8, 2015 at the Convention Center and Sirindhorn Science Home at the Thailand Science Park, National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) in Pathumthani. Over 270 students from 29 Asian countries participated in the event.
The Pakistani delegation comprising seven students along with the Team Leader Dr. Naushaba Atta, Principal Scientific Officer (PSO), PSF left for Thailand on 1st August, 2015. Prior to their departure for Thailand, a sendoff/orientation session was held at PSF on 1st August, 2015 in which PSF high officials, eminent scientists and educationists shared their experiences with the students and guided them for the intended visit. The students enthusiastically participated in the forum.
The students who participated in the ASC-15 included Asad Jamil, Danial Amin, Maryam Khan, Muhammad Shoaib Butt, Aamir Zaryab, Hamna Ashraf and Muhammad Farhan Uddin Salik.
The ASC-2015 was inaugurated by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on 3rd August, 2015. She delivered a keynote address highlighting the importance of science education. Afterwards, the formal sessions of the Camp started. The Camp included seven plenary lectures by the Nobel Laureates, Panel Discussion, Group discussions and Poster presentations. The Students were encouraged to ask questions or discuss with lecturers at every scientific session in ASC-2015. The best question in each session was selected by the lecturer and declared for the “Best Question Award”. The prizes were given away to the selectees at the end of each day during the ASC-15.
The students also prepared posters based on the information obtained from the lectures and presentations. At the Poster Presentation session, the committee members closely observed all the posters and appreciated students’ presentations. The committee selected 18 most creative posters for the poster awards, including 3 Gold Awards, 3 Silver Awards, 9 Bronze Awards and 3 Honorable Mentions. Four Pakistani students won these awards. In addition, cultural activities were also arranged including cooking, flower making, pattle folding, boxing, dancing and cloth dying for the participants.
The closing ceremony was held on 7th August, 2015. On this occasion, the winners of the Best Question Awards and Poster presentations were announced. All the participants were also awarded certificates. By the Grace of Almighty Allah, the Pakistani students were able to win six awards as per detail given below;
- Ms. Maryam Khan won the Best Question Award and Honorable Poster Mention
- Danial Amin got Best Question Award and Bronze Poster Award
- Muhammad Shoaib Butt and AamirZaryab won Bronze Poster Award
The students alongwith their Team leader returned to Pakistan on 8th August, 2015.