Imagine, Invent, Inspire: A Science Festival in Thatta

Extracurricular activities are generally an unheard of concept in government schools in rural Sindh. One locality in the District of Thatta, a rural and highly undeveloped district, stands in sharp contrast. On January 28th 2014, a Science Festival was organised at the Government Boys Primary School Darro, a STEP school, by the STEP District Field Office and one of STEP’s mentor teachers.

Over 1,500 students, 200 teachers, and 450 community members and parents attended the Festival, the largest ever organised in the district. Students work tougher and set up various stalls in the Science Festival, presenting learning models and demonstrations that focused on basic science concepts and topics such as the flow of energy, forces, light, matter, the solar system, and the various systems of the human body. The exhibitions at the Festival encompassed nearly all the major topics of science that students learn about at the primary level.

The Director Education, Hyderabad Division visited the Festival and was so inspired that he ordered the Education Department of District Thatta to organise such a Science Festival again at another school the following week. The Festival strengthened the commitment of students and teachers towards quality teaching and learning.

After visiting the Festival, the parents of several children who were not attending school were also inspired and motivated to seek admission for their children. The community was particularly appreciative towards STEP for organising the event, requesting that STEP organise additional events in other subject areas to encourage learning and to provoke children’s curiosity in other fields.